It has been a while after I blogged about the beginning of this collaboration with Swanlork. We just had our final performance last weekend in Bangor Music Festival 2019 and it seems a little bit too late to talk about what happened during the project, but I would still like to share what I encountered on this journey before discussing other aspects that might be interesting such as the composition itself, tidying up a patch, scoring, or summarising the whole experience in the other blogs. This blog will be mainly about how my composition ‘Stretches’ is developed and some difficulties which arose from productivity(!?) during the process between the first meeting and the final performance.
After the first meeting, I really enjoyed creating patches for the Gametrak, probably too much. In the second and third workshops, I turned up with so many patches that I had expanded from the original idea of noise generator and band-pass filters. I even experimented with an overly complicated patch that could send out sound with one hand and control the output of 8 speakers individually with the other; I was truly impressed by how much could be done with the game controller. I had not realised that I was trapped among the possibilities and small interesting features of different patches while the core idea of the composition was neglected; I had no idea, or had not spent enough time thinking about, how the structure of the piece was going to be and which features were really necessary for the piece. I was not sure whether which was the direction I should take, when to stop programming and start composing, or designing/programming the instrument in this sense was actually composing.
After meeting with Simon and Jenn in the last workshop in November, I, for the first time, had a chance to step outside of the bubble and also away from the patches I had created. I later started to think more realistically about everything and could eventually choose certain features for the composition. I ended up getting rid of more than half of the ideas/patches I had had and used only 3-4 patches that were structured in the way that could form some sort of narrative to the piece and at the same time allowed both performers time to explore and improvise with pre-designed settings.
Please feel free to comment below or drop me a message if there are any particular aspects you would like to discuss. I am very excited to hear what you think!