Annie Gosfield: Lost Signals and Drifting Satellites (excerpt)





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Published on Jan 9, 2011

Lost Signals and Drifting Satellites is from the CD "Lost Signals and Drifting Satellites". It is scored for violin, accompanied by recordings of satellites, shortwaves and radio transmissions. The static, sputter and concealed melodies of these transmissions are echoed by the violin, which drifts between extended techniques and traditional writing for the instrument. Like a radio that is gradually losing and gaining reception, the music shifts between these two worlds, hovering between notes and noise, and ultimately drifts into faraway static.

While researching the piece, I read about the Soviet's 1957 launch of Sputnik, the first satellite.  This tiny smudge that drifted across the horizon, barely visible to the naked eye, fascinated and terrified populations everywhere. People all over the world set up bulky radio equipment in order to listen to the abstract bleeps, blips, and static that Sputnik broadcast.  I was inspired by the image of a listener lost in a night sky littered with satellite noise, captivated by these odd and compelling sounds, which became a nocturne of lost signals.

Commissioned by and performed by George Kentros

  • Category

  • Song

    • Lost Signals And Drifting Satellites
  • Artist

    • Annie Gosfield
  • Album

    • Lost Signals & Drifting Satellites
  • Licensed to YouTube by

    • [Merlin] Redeye Distribution (on behalf of Tzadik)


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