Jonty Harrison - Klang
  Year :   1982
  Location :   England
  Worktype :   LP
  Materials:   Commission. saucepan-sampling, tape
  Info :   Magyar Radio/MAFILM. Premiere: the University of Birmingham, 1982. Second Prize, Bourges International Electroacoustic Awards 1983; Euphonie dor, Bourges 1992. Appears on Various Artists - Interpenetrations LP, UEA (cat. no





 
Bells
Tape
Compositional_Function
Vinyl
  Work Details  
  The title (Klang is the German for sound) reflects the onomatopoeic nature of the family of sounds providing the raw material for the piece - sharp, metallic attacks with interesting resonances rich in harmonics. The real starting point for Klang was the discovery of two earthenware casseroles, the sounds of which were recorded in the Electroacoustic Music Studio of the University of East Anglia during the summer of 1981. Material of two kinds was recorded - attack/resonance sounds made by tapping the lids on or in the bowls, and continuous rolling sounds made by running the lids around the insides of the bowls. Different pitches resulted from the various combinations of lids and bowls, and different qualities of resonance emerged according to the attack position. The microphones were placed very close to the bowls to maximise the movement within the stereophonic image. Other related material, accumulated over the previous three or four years, was also used. This included both concrete sounds, such as cow-bells, metal rods and aluminium bars, and electronically generated sounds, both analogue and digital. The final impetus to compose the piece came in June 1981 when the composer was invited by Janos Decsenyi of Magyar Radio to work in the Radios Electronic Music Studio in Budapest. As studio time would be limited he was advised to take a certain amount of taped material with him; the two weeks prior to the visit were therefore spent in preliminary work in the Electroacoustic Music Studio of The University of Birmingham. Most of the opening two sections of the piece were composed before going to Hungary. Although continuous, Klang falls into six short, fairly clearly defined sections:- 1. Introduction 2. Development 1 - duet 3. Development 2 - interruption of duet and increase in complexity towards the first climax 4. Development 3 - relatively static section 5. Development 4 - proliferation of material from Development 3 into glissando structures; build-up to the second 6. (main) climax, and slow release to: 7. Coda The listener can trace the development of the material from raw statements of casserole sounds in the Introduction, through more complex, highly transformed events in the four Development sections, back to the opening sound-world in the Coda. The most obvious transformation technique is mixing, using only slightly transposed versions of simple sounds. Besides mixing and transposition with tape recorders and a harmoniser, the main modifications were achieved by filtering and, most important of all, montage. This last technique is the principal means of controlling the timing and rhythmic articulation of the material and its organisation into phrases (which may be a single line or a mix of many layers which are edited together into the desired sequence). Klang was commissioned by MAFILM and composed in the Electronic Music Studio of Magyar Radio in 1982. It was awarded Second Prize in the Analogue Category of the Bourges International Electroacoustic Music Awards in 1983. It has been performed and broadcast in many parts of the world, including at the 1984 ISCM World Music Days in Toronto, Canada. It appeared on the UEA record label and has just been released on CD on the NMC label (London). In 1992 it was awarded a Euphonie dor at Bourges as one of the twenty most significant works from two decades of the Bourges Awards.