For soprano and computer generated sounds ; 2005 ; Duration ca. 16 minutes 50 seconds

Poet Kenneth Staples provided me with the poems for the composition of this piece for Heather Gardner, a gifted young soprano currently living in the San Francisco Bay area. These poems are dark, lyrical and richly textured in metaphorical associations, often considering such issues as lost opportunity, unfulfilled promise and disregard, societal as well as individual.

Within the second song the soprano frequently performs in an obligato rather than solo fashion, and most of the text is presented within the computer part by the narrating voices of Ms. Gardner and Mr. Staples. From these recorded narrations I also extracted isolated phonemes, which are granulated and combined with other very short percussive sounds, instrumental sounds (for example, the attack of flute tones) and concrete sounds (for example, knives and forks clicked together) to form brief percussive and textural motivic riffs -- a digital form of scat singing, perhaps -- that are sprinkled throughout the movement.
MP3 phoneme examples : (1) 5 source vocal phonemes (2) two short riffs employing these phonemes and other brief sound sources

Like several of my other compositions, especially works employing computer generated sounds, Diaspora features a collection of defining sounds, which are discussed and illustrated with particular reference to this work in this informal essay.

The computer part consists of nine soundfiles available in four formats:

  • 96 kHz 24 bit quad (preferred performance format)
  • 96 kHz 24 bit stereo
  • 44.1 kHz 16 bit quad
  • 44.1 kHz 16 bit stereo
Playback of the computer part usually is controlled by the soloist from a laptop computer running a PD (Pure Data) patch written by Matt Barber.

PDF score excerpt

MP3 audio excerpt
This excerpt begins mid way through the second movement. The soprano is Heather Garnder, and this performance was recorded in the ECMC studios rather than during a live performance.
Duration : 2 minutes 40 seconds; size 4.9 MB; encoding 256 kBit stereo

This work was premiered by Heather Gardner in Rochester on a Musica Nova concert in Eastman's Kilbourn Hall (April 11, 2005) and a solo recital at Christ Church (April 18, 2005).

For performance information on this work please send e-mail to:
Composer aschindler@esm.rochester.edu

Return to Allan Schindler's List of Compositions

Copyright 2005  Allan Schindler
Designed by Keum-Taek Jung