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Dennis Smalley; The Pulses of Time

Creel Pone
CP 075 CD
Compact Disc-Recordable

Creel Pone of a 1981 LP privately released by the University of East Anglia containing three sparse Musique Concrète pieces composed between 1974 and 1979 at the GRM and UEA studios by New Zealand born/bred composer Denis Smalley.

Widely considered to be one the classics of early British electro-acoustic music - alongside Trevor Wishart’s “Journey Into Space” & “Red Bird”, Desmond Leslie’s “Music of the Future”, and Basil Kirchin’s “Worlds Within Worlds”), the three pieces on “Pulses” each work discrete combinations of synthesized timbres, processed close-mic’ed instrumentation, and slowly shifting/morphing drones... no shortage of documentation on the modus/practices at work here, so i’ll let the libretto (below) do the talking... those who found favor and/or inspiration within the Hilda Dianda, Jocy de Oliveira, and/or “New Zealand Electronic Music” Creel Pones will be in familiar territory here.

"Electro-Acoustic music uses electronic technology to create and transform sounds. it harnesses the resources of the recording studio, synthesizers, specialised treatment devices, and computers for musical composition and performance. The three works on this record represent two types of Electroacoustic music. The Pulses of Time and Pentes exist only on stereo tape and were composed using the resources of the studios where they were created, the Groupe de Recherches Musicales, Paris, which now forms part of the Institut National de L'Audiovisuel, and the recording and electronic studio at the University of East Anglia, England.

Both works involve extensive transformation of instrumental and electronic sounds. Chanson de Geste on the other hand is a live performance piece which needs closely positioned microphones to magnify sounds otherwise inaudible, and to enable detailed sound-balancing. The three works were composed over a period of five years. Pentes (1974) has been widely acclaimed and with another of Denis Smalley's works won the Fylkingen prize for Electronic Composition in sweden in 1975. Chanson de Geste (1978) which uniquely combines new vocal techniques with clavichord sounds was composed for Carol Plantamura, One of the foremost american sopranos specialising in new music.

The Pulses of Time (1979) has been widely broadcast and performed in concerts and festivals in many parts of the world. Denis Smalley, born in New Zealand, in 1946, now lives in England and works in Norwich where he is lecturer in music at the University of East Anglia. His music displays consummate skill in using Electro-Acoustic resources in a strikingly imaginative and individual manner."


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