Feb 04, 2019
RESEARCH INTO CHIRON Greek Mythology Born of a violent union between Kronos and the Nymph Phylira, Chiron was rejected by his mother who was devastated that he was born a Centaur. This was because Phylira had turned herself into a mare to spurn Kronos’ advances, but this did not stop him. This initial wound of rejection never left him, although he was taken in by the god Apollo who educated Chiron in healing, music and the arts. He was wounded a second time, when accidentally shot by the arrow of Hercules and although Chiron was immortal (being the son of a god) he could not heal himself and spent his life in pain. Hence, he became known as ‘The wounded healer’ In astronomy, Chiron was discovered and named as a Centaur Planet in 1977, and orbits between Saturn and Uranus. Find out more here. The sonic frequency of the planet Chiron is 172.86 Hz. This is equivalent to the note of F and is thought in sound healing terms to induce lucid dreaming. When we have a lucid dream we are in control of our dream; we can have power over the outcome of the dream. Sigmund Freud suggested that we live out our desires and unfulfilled wishes through our dreams, and to have control over those dreams could allow us to have agency over our emotional, psychological and behavioural growth. In astrology, Chiron, (depending on where he was situated when you were born), invites us to heal the deepest wounds in our psyche. Taking around 50 years to complete a full orbit between Jupiter and Uranus, he comes around each sign for the last time when we are age 50, and for probably the last time in our lives he invites us to look deep inside for the initial wounding we have all suffered and to heal ourselves once and for all. The amalgamation of these concepts inspired me to conceive ‘Chiron’s Return’. Not so much a composition of my own, but an invite to compose one’s own healing soundscape. Taking the frequency of the planet Chiron (or the note F) And selecting a ‘box of toys’ or healing instruments that are recorded in F, the performer is instructed to play their choice or combination of instruments that feels particularly healing to them while focusing on their own wounds. This is akin to a Fluxus performance, a toolkit for healing art. This process has allowed me to experiment with the intersectionality of mythology, astrology, astronomy, psychoanalysis, sound healing, and contemporary art concepts as well as electronic music. The project could also be developed into a therapeutic music workshop for participants to discover and explore all these worlds in pursuit of self-awareness and empowerment.
Oct 17, 2018
Well, having looked through the resources I was kindly given I decided I hadn’t a clue what they were or what to do with them! No hard and fast rules about what software or hardware to use, I pressed on and decided to have a go at pairing the game-trak we were given with some modular software that was compatible with my PC and hopefully with the controller. I downloaded VCV Rack modular synthesizer and plugged the game-trak in. It worked! Simultaneous sense of achievement and relief at such a simple thing may not blight others but after fiddling about for so long without success, this was a breakthrough! Fig. 1. I selected a ‘MIDI CC’ (continuous controller) MIDI bridge, which was included in the rack as an interface, selected an oscillator to start experimenting, then patched the control from the interface into the 1 volt per octave (v/oct) input of the Oscillator’s frequency voltage control. (Fig. 1.) Each string of the Game-trak offers 3 channels of control: X, Y and Z axis. The first 3 channels of the interface corresponded to the planes of the left hand string control. I selected channel 3 to assign the pitch to the Z plane as this was the up and down movement of the string. This felt more natural in terms of movement. Although there are 3 channels of control, the whole of the capability of the string control under these parameters was not being used and so to gain another 3 channels on the left hand string I had to use an ‘Attenuverter’ module. (See Fig. 2.) This enables the 6 channels of control by setting a zero voltage point at the central position of each axis and used a +/- voltage to control other modules. Fig. 2. Further Attenuverters were used to convert the voltage from negative to positive and vice versa as required. (See fig. 3.) Fig. 3. For the right hand string controller on the Game-trak, I have repeated the above and have created several patches to control sequencers, utilities, LFO’s, samples, graintables and oscillators, plus sound elements such as timbre, harmonic content, filters, sequencers and clock rates etc. (See Fig. 4.) I have yet to get to grips with the foot pedal though and cannot get that to yield! Anyway, onwards and upward from the techy bit, now to get composing. More soon about the inspiration for the piece…. Fig. 4.
Oct 07, 2018
Being chosen for the CoDI composer pathway was a thrilling prospect and the first workshop was exciting, informative, intense but incredibly welcoming. I found myself more than a tad bit overwhelmed with the coding and the technology that was being presented but nontheless I plunged into trying these new things and finding what seemed to feel fitting for me. Having no idea what direction or form my composition would take, I came away just trying to process all the new possibilities. Very often I try to make music that is personal to me, that in some way reflects my identity and my journey; past, present or future, which is healing to me and could be used by others for wellbeing. The ideas and focus for the piece came easily and the stimulus was inspired by Greek mythology and the art and science of astrology. However, getting to grips with the technology and learning to transfer ideas into sound is proving slow and frustrating. This will be my challenge! Thinking about movement and performance within a composition is a new prospect for me also but I welcome this added form of expression. Looking forward to the next workshop!