Sacred Voices

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The title Sacred Voices, was suggested by the use of and manipulation of sound materials which are considered to symbolise religion, culture, or species. The piece was composed mainly from material that had been recorded during a research trip to China in May, 2013.

Much of the material was derived from a rare opportunity to record Giant Pandas in their enclosures at the Dujangyan Panda Reintroduction Centre, alongside a recording made in Xi’an of monks singing in a Buddhist Temple and carts being driven up hutongs in Beijing.

These sounds (voices) are explored in a manner straddling on the very edge of real and unreal sound worlds and act as expressions or traces of place or moments in time.

Sacred voices attempts to convey the idea of a series of momentary structures and forms experienced in space and time. Throughout the work, sounds are presented as ‘moments’ in time and, space- the source of which is left up to the listener to imagine.

These moments are then expanded and explored throughout the piece- with each idea being mined for potential developments. The idea for this derived from my fascination with the manipulation of field recordings, but also with sound design and spatialisation, both within the concert hall, and in a piece itself.

Sacred Voices was composed from December, 2013 to January, 2014 in the studios of De Montfort University (Leicester, England, UK). The work was commissioned by Reinhard Fuchs and Forum Liverpool with support from Scotland China Education Network, University of Aberdeen Confucius Institute and De Montfort University Confucius Institute. Special thanks to John Young.