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piano 505

CD cover image voiceworks -david cunningham

image from 'The Sound of these Words' -Stephen Partridge

notes on the CD:

this music is not only concerned with voices.
the voice is the element which unifies the differing treatments. through this point of reference the processes are exposed and allowed an identity beyond the rôle of pure manipulation.
the technical procedures are not in themselves important. they are devices, a vocabulary of musical electronics (as opposed to electronic music) to structure the voicings of other musics. the important element in the construction of much of this music is the exploration of 'soft' systems, responsive systems as opposed to pure process.
although this would appear to be a rather clinical procedure, because of inherent defects in the machines, difficulty in precise control of the system and the resultant 'mistakes' the system is more likely to respond in an unpredictable way, creating something which has very much in common with the product of a non-technical culture.
the studio and associated machines draw on the grain, the physical properties, of the source material. this overall approach deals with music as texture and as a time-based activity as well as rhythm, melody and harmony. for the most part it can only exist as recorded sound.

David Cunningham may 1992
An extended version of Canta was commissioned by Ian Spink with funding from the Arts Council of Great Britain. it was first performed as a dance work at York Arts Centre on the 15th October 1980.
'The piece is performed by six dancers.  The movement material was developed mostly through a series of dense verbal instructions issued to the dancers by the choreographer who refrained from physically demonstrating any of the steps.'

Ian Spink may 1992

thanks to:
Masanori Akashi for his help and encouragement
Thomas Fehlmann for advice
Ian Spink for his use of the work in his dance work 'canta'
Ken McMullen and Stuart Brisley for commissioning some of this music for their film 'Being and Doing'
Mark Lucas and Jane Thorburn for their commissions of other pieces of this music for the television series 'Alter Image'

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© piano 1996