Song of Songs is a Compact Disc released in 1994 by Canadian composer Barry Truax. The CD features three electroacoustic works (Basilica, Song of Songs and Sequence of Later Heaven ) by this internationally renowned composer, the only Canadian-born recipient of the Magisterium award at the International Competition of Electroacoustic Music in Bourges, France. Also included is a re-issue for the first time on CD of an earlier work for marimba and tape, Nightwatch, performed by Russell Hartenberger of Nexus fame.
The music on this CD promises to be the most sensuous ever heard in the computer music genre. The title track, Song of Songs, was described as "love drenched" by one reviewer (Michael Scott, The Vancouver Sun ) in reaction to its poetic treatment of the erotic Song of Solomon text, combined with a Mediterranean soundscape of birds, cicadas, crickets, and a monk singing with an Italian monastery bell. The work features the richly lyrical sounds of the oboe d'amore and English horn as performed by the outstanding Canadian oboeist, Lawrence Cherney, who in 1993 became the first recipient of the prestigious Jean A. Chalmers National Music Award, presented to a Canadian performer who has made an outstanding contribution to Canadian musical creativity. Two of the graphic images that accompany a live performance of this piece, by Vancouver composer and computer graphic artist Theo Goldberg, are reproduced on the CD booklet covers.
The CD also includes Truax's 1992 composition Basilica which is based on the bells of the Basilica of Notre Dame in Quebec City. These resonant sounds, like most of the other environmental sounds on the album, are heard stretched in time and harmonized by a unique technique developed by Truax called the granulation of sampled sound. This time-stretching, which occurs with no change of pitch, allows the inner harmonics of the sound to emerge, and in moving inside the sound, Truax suggests, "it seems as if we are entering the large volume of the church itself."
Truax's work, the epic Sequence of Later Heaven, based on musical instrument sounds from Pacific Rim cultures and inspired by the I Ching, has been chosen for performance at both the 1994 International Computer Music Conference in Denmark, and the 1994 International Festival of Electroacoustic Music in Bourges, France. This work was commissioned with the assistance of the Canada Council by Al Mattes and the Music Gallery in Toronto, for the 1993 Canadian Electroacoustic Community's Radio Days, and is dedicated to the memory of Martin Bartlett of Simon Fraser University.
Song of Songs (CSR-CD 9401) is available for a postpaid mail order price.
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