Split Voices

for soprano/tenor saxophone solo (1998)
with computer-generated sound
duration is c. 19′

Split Voices was composed during a residency at the Phonos Foundation/Audiovisual Institute of the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, Spain. The piece explores applications of the non-linear, chaotic acoustic properties of the saxophone. By utilizing uncommon fingerings on the saxopohone the air column can be split in various ways creating multiphonics. Certain trills utilizing these multiphonic fingerings create complex meta-resonances in the air column. In Split Voices these sounds were recorded and their spectral components enhanced using generational spectral mutation functions. Out of these sounds come the harmony, timbre, form, melodies and rhythms of the piece. Performing Split Voices is an unusual experience for the player in that the performer must acoustically open the saxophone and bring out hidden resonant characteristics, sounds we normally suppress in performance.

Special thanks to the Phonos Foundation/Audiovisual Institute, and especially to Xavier Serra and Gabriel Brncic for their support of my work.

score excerpt

Split Voices score, elec and reference recording
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