Musics of the Sphere (2022-3)
six-track electro-acoustic composition

Robert Morris

Program Notes

Musics of the Sphere is a celebration of musics from all over the world. Over 150 excerpts of all types of music from Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe comprise the sounds in each track. These musics are presented as such (without modification) to partial and complete transformation via a host of computer music techniques.

This composition is not the first of mine that addresses "world musics." In 1973, I composed a 45-minute electronic piece in four tracks called Thunder of Spring over distant Mountains. This piece was based on seven pieces of Asian and south-Asian music.

Musics of the Sphere is for 3D spatial audio and at the premiere featured the AlloSphere's 54.1 channels of sound. The AlloSphere is a performance instrument-venue at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Three spatial rings of speakers in the three-story instrument. Since the work is for audio only, the acoustics of the unique AlloSphere instrument’s near to anechoic chamber will be featured. Therefore, the AlloSphere is the perfect venue to pr'sent Musics of the Sphere where loudspeakers are placed around and above and below the listeners. Performances at other venues have involved six speakers placed to the right, left, in front, in back, above, and (possibly) below the audience. A quadrophonic version is also available.