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Uploaded on Jan 29, 2008

excerpt from Gordon Monahan's SPEAKER SWINGING video ...

Gordon Monahan is one of Canada's most
consistently innovative and creative composers.

Gordon Monahan creates music, sound sculpture, sound installation, and computer-controlled sound environments that span various genres from avant garde concert music to multi-media installation and sound art.

Check out his new CD THEREMIN IN THE RAIN and the recently re-released SPEAKER SWINGING & PIANO MECHANICS CD.

Speaker Swinging is a performance for three or more spinging loudspeakers and nine sine wave/sawtooth oscillators. It is inspired by hearing the Doppler Effect produced by such things as moving vehiclies with broadcasting sound systems, airplanes, Leslie speakers, and other moving sound sources. The subsequent acoustical processes of phasing, vibrato, and tremolo are fundamental to the work, as are the elements of sweat, struggle, fear, and seduction. The idea for the piece grew out of a desire to animate the typical electronic music concert and in effect, to realise the loudspeaker as a valid electronic instrument in itself.

The primary focus of the piece is physical - the physical struggle to produce sound that is acoustically sculpted by motion. The Doppler modulations are not actually being broadcast through the speakers themselves, but are formed through continuous sound source movement in space. As the Doppler-modulatedd waves reflect off of the surfaces in the space, an aural sculpture is delineated by architecture.

The sound material broadcast through the speakers is intentionally minimal so that, on one hand, the Doppler Effect is most noticeable, and on the other hand, the use of basic sound material denotes the feeling of a simple science experiment. The nine oscillators are played live during the performance, where a progressive layering of tones and tunings is explored through various frequency registers, from less than 1 Hz. up to 8000 Hz.

The first performance of Speaker Swinging took place in July 1982, at Mercer Union gallery in Toronto. Several hundred performances have been presented worldwide since.



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