Still Juniper Snow

Mathew Adkins (Composer), Quatuor Bozzini (Performer), Sarah-Jane Summers (Performer)

Research output: Non-textual formComposition

Abstract

Still Juniper Snow is based on recordings of original acoustic pieces performed by Sarah-Jane Summers and the Bozzini Quartet, inspired by the Norwegian landscape where Summers lives as well as the Scottish and Norwegian folk traditions that she seamlessly blends. These recordings are subjected to various studio treatments to arrive at their final form. This process has its origins in Gerhard Richter’s overpainted photographs—I regard these pieces as musical palimpsests in which original acoustic compositions are reused, altered, effaced, or composed over, but still contain traces of the original form. Through the deliberate obfuscation of gestural content, I aim to leave only the atmosphere of the original compositions (influenced by Gernot Böhme’s writings on the aesthetics of atmosphere). The ways in which these techniques manifest themselves varies from movement to movement. In still hollow the original five-part canon is ‘read’ through a series of large ‘windows’, a technique derived from FFT analysis. The five-part form is maintained but much of the instrumental filigree no longer projects a sense of forward motion—the impression is that it is suspended, has become timeless, through the glacial linear surface development. In distant waters the process of compositional ‘overpainting’ is most evident as the original is almost completely obscured under a patina of processed and newly developed sonic materials. In spiral paths there is an almost geological overlaying of materials. In the first part of this movement the original solo fiddle line is fragmented and presented in large-scale looping phrases that gradually introduce more of the original material. Additionally, traces of the original quartet part are slowed down in the background whilst other materials are musically ‘erased’, apart from the reverb layer. The central part of the movement presents the most obvious effacing of musical gesture, in which the rapid fiddle passage is gradually distorted to become fragmented noise.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOslo
PublisherHuddersfield Contemporary Records
EditionHCR19
Media of outputCD
Size20 minutes
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2018

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