Galena - solo electroacoustic improvisation
This is a one in a series of solo electroacoustic improvisations I made using feedback generated by violins with microphones and vibration speakers controlled by a patch in Max/MSP. The violins are prepared with nails inserted between the strings, and played by tapping them with spoons. There is a throbbing but gradually shifting low frequency pulse running throughout, generated by acoustic feedback between the violins being muffled through gaffer tape, which I've used to block up the soundholes of the violins, to get a more distant and subdued effect.
Galena is the shining blue-silver ore pictured in the soundcloud link to the right. It was extensively mined in Northumberland (and elsewhere) and was the basis of the lead mining industry (. . . in case you were wondering where I got the title from). The piece is titled in tribute to my friends Alan Smith and Helen Radcliffe, who have run the amazing Allenheads Contemporary Arts in the former lead mining village of Allenheads in the Northumbrian Pennines for the last 27 years.
This recording was made in Graz where I was working on the "Emotional Improvisation" project, headed by Prof Deniz Peters of Kinst Universitat, Graz, and funded by the Austrian Research Council (FWF). I was fortunate to be invited by Deniz to work with him on this project for a six-month fellowship in 2014.
NOTE: if the "play" button seems not to work on the link to the right, just click on the image, which seems to start (and also stop) playback.