Traitement de choc

For 2-channel Tape

Year of Completion: 2003

Duration: 11'12"

All the sounds heard in Traitement de choc are derived from recordings made on various pianos.

The sound transformations used in this piece almost entirely make use of a number of granular synthesis devices of my own design. Having total control over the workings of these instruments allowed me to explore ideas such as regularity and periodicity in opposition to irregularity and non-periodicity in finer detail. Control over all attributes of the grains and of their parametric progression on a grain by grain basis offered the scope I required while using an otherwise tried and tested sound processing technique.

For the source recordings two different pianos were used. The first was a Steinway Grand, and the second was an unused piano which was no longer needed.

The significance of using a unwanted piano for some of the source recordings meant that certain techniques could be employed that could potentially damage the instrument. In fact, the recording of source materials for this piece resulted in the complete destruction of the piano.

Thanks are due to Queen's University School of Music for the donation of a piano used during the preparation of this piece.