for female speaker and two soundtracks

Amy Lowell, text

This work presents Amy Lowell's much anthologized poem "Patterns" in a live, theatrical performance surrounded by a soundscape created from a reading of the poem by Diana McIntosh and various Victorian sounds such as a ticking, chiming clock, spinning wheel, birdsong and a stream. Lowell (1874-1925), a descendant of a distinguished New England family, professed no great love for the "new woman", but in this poem the suffocating patterns of conventional femininity are symbolized by the stiff brocaded dress the speaker longs to throw aside.

Patterns was commissioned by and for Diana McIntosh and premiered at a Groundswell concert of the same name in Winnipeg.

Patterns is available on the Cambridge Street Records CD Twin Souls.

Technical note

The work was realized using the composer's PODX system which incorporates the DMX-1000 Digital Signal Processor controlled by a PDP Micro-11 computer with software for real-time granular synthesis and signal processing developed by the composer in the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University. The sounds were recorded on 8-track tape and mixed down in the Sonic Research Studio at SFU.