Jonty Harrison - Aria
  Year :   1987
  Location :   France
  Worktype :   Composition
  Materials:   Commission
  Info :   Groupe de Musique Expérimentale de Bourges. Premiere: the University of Birmingham, 1988.

  Work Details  
  Aria was conceived as an elaboration of the gestural properties of a gust of air, characterised by a tendency from generally higher to generally lower register (and at least part of the way back), coupled with a similarly-paced crescendo/diminuendo shape, and containing a great deal of internal spatial detail. This gesture also predominates at the local level, among the individual sound types and individual musical gestures in the work. Occasionally the forward momentum is halted by entering a garden of relative stasis; these become increasingly evocative of real garden environments as the work progresses. As a counterpoint to this are elements recalling the more vocal and cultural connotations of the word aria. To emphasise this aspect of the human voice within the work, many of the sounds in Aria were produced using the EMS Vocoder in Studio Charybde of the Groupe de Musique Experimentale de Bourges (France). Aria was commissioned by the GMEB and was composed in their studios during two visits in 1987, and in the Electroacoustic Music Studio of The University of Birmingham (who also provided financial assistance in travelling to Bourges). It appears on Articles indéfinis, a Jonty Harrison solo CD on the empreintes DIGITALes label (Montreal). I am indebted to Adrian Hunter for his invaluable help as Studio Assistant during the final stages of assembling the piece in early April 1988. Some small revisions were made in December 1988. Aria is dedicated to my wife Ali for her help, support and forbearance.