Piano, bass clarinet, electric guitar, alto flute, contrabass and 5 audio-visual scores [15′]
Open score written for MAZE.
waveshaper is conceived as being part of the Trackers cycle of pieces (trackers, satyr drama and testudo). These pieces can be played together with Trackers providing the backing audiovisual layer. waveshaper is the last movement and is intended to take place after the text of the Satyr Drama ends. It is a mountain music of sorts - a music of Arcadia - the idea of revealing the fundementals of sound through the transformaton of basic sound waves. An inspiration behind this is both the music of North West Greece, Epirus, but also the sound concepts of so called West-Coast synthesis that uses waveshaping and wavefolding as a way of adding complexity to a sound.
The performance score consists of five video-scores with audio which are started at the same time on cue (there can be up to a few seconds of asynchronicity but not more). Each player responds to the notation and wave seen on the screen (which can be projected or played on a tablet/iPad or laptop). The screen can be shared with the audience with the musicians sitting amongst the public or with the screen facing the audience - or when it is played as part of Trackers, spread in the space of the floor projection.
The notation consists of a stave (or staves) with long notes on the left and short notes on the right. The player should make up phrases with a periodicity of roughly 1-5 seconds - that evolves with short notes acting as grace notes for the long notes. The order of the short notes is relevant in the order in which they should be revealed in the evolving phrases. Phrases could evolve in any way but only with the given notes (in the octave they are written). Often the dominant long note is the same as the audio of the wave played under each block, thus the tuning could be adapted to what is heard. The style of playing should be relatively controlled, though speeds for the grace notes and weight on different notes could vary.
As well as the note information, the players can be influenced by the graphic form of the waves, and how they interact with the notation. In the first place, the changing contrasts of the waves, gives a clue as to the length of each block, so that the player can space their phrases appropriately. The waves are visualisations of the audio heard, made from oscilloscope analysis - so that one sees how the harmonics of the waves evolve from shaping and folding of the sinewaves. There is no fixed way that this should be interpreted in the player's interpretation - but being conscious of the rate of change of the sound, the amount of distortion in the wave, its fluxuation on the screen, the interference with the notes on the stave - can all have an effect on how the player creates their phrases.