Sonic Whisper 

Sonic Whisper image by Kristy Farkas

SONIC WHISPER ‘sounds from the periphery in gently audible turbulence’
performed November 29, 2008 at Grace Lutheran Church, Victoria, BC.
 
Kristy Farkas – piano, bells, small percussion.
Tina Pearson – accordion, flute, voice, glass
Chris Reiche – piano, DX7, toy pianos
Hunter Boucher – host
Lyssa Pearson – photography
Mario Milat – sound engineer
 
The performance comprised a collection of electroacoustic pieces collaboratively created by Chris Reiche, Tina Pearson and Kristy Farkas over a 3 month creation and rehearsal period.
 
Sonic Whisper takes meaning partially from ideas expressed about the practice of Horse Whispering. Sonic Whispering is the practice of listening for the sounds, and the spaces between gestures, that come about by allowing the use of musical instruments and other devices in ways they were not necessarily intended to be used.  It is also the practice of listening for signals from the sonic landscape around us, listening for texture and nuance, and for obscure, evocative and delicate sounds not usually attended to in expressive or formal music. In these ways, the performers unearth a narrative of sonic whisperings that shift, shimmer and remember.

PROGRAM

Threshold (1981-2008)
A variation on an audience-welcoming work developed and performed by the New Music Co-operative during its Oxygen Tonic project (co-directed by Tina Pearson and David Mott) at the Canadian Centre for Photography in Toronto, 1983.  Threshold serves as a tuning for the ensemble and for the concert:  It is a gentle unearthing and invocation of the sounds of the performance space and its environs including the sounds brought by the audience, inviting their resonance in the evening’s performance.
 
Shimmer
After our last concert (LaSaM Unplugged – A Rose is a Rose), we picked up some old theatre light lenses that were being discarded by Metro Studio.  Chris immediately placed them on the piano strings.  We liked the sound.
 
Whisper
The Yamaha DX7 comes with a library of pre-set voices.  One is called ‘Whisper Vox’.
 
In Between Gold
Textural melodies in breath cycle rhythms accompany inhaled vocalizations and utterances resonated by globe light fixtures. 
 
Text by Lyssa Pearson
 
In Between Gold
 
The liquid dark of evening
melts, scatters, sears into a
ferocious and cool velvet sky
 
Deep.  Fresh.
 
The sun withers, draining from sight
a brilliant memory of parched heat,
of simple gold energy, direct, purposeful.
 
Jasmine, mint, permeate the rich,
silky air, slithering, sliding, floating,
filling the whorls of the wind.
 
Morning, a far off dream
the stars laugh, gentle, rhythmic,
delighted in the opal reality of the night.
 
Tectonach
Before equal temperament became established, the composer JS Bach was interested in varied tuning of specific musical intervals and the nuanced soundworlds that resulted. He also composed many pieces with reference to the pitch representation of the letters of his name.  This piece lightly suggests elements of a Bach prelude stretched in time with shifts in tuning on the DX7 played against the static tuning of piano and accordion, with ghosts of Bach’s music echoing in the piano and vocal fragments.

I Walk Through Snow
Two EBows gently resonate the strings of the piano.  The EBow (originally intended for use on the guitar) is a battery powered, hand-held “bow” which produces an energy field that vibrates and sustains the string using a focused feedback loop. The result is a powerful, rich and infinite sustain. 
 
Music Box Mystery
The concert comes to a close with a delicate reminiscence of a popular tune, in retrograde inversion. 

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The Sonic Whisper performance was recorded by audio engineer Mario Milat, and made into a self-produced CD.

Sounds from Sonic Whisper can be heard at the LaSaM Myspace page, including Tectonach and I Walk in Snow.