EAST WIND (1981)

for amplified recorder and four soundtracks

This work creates an intimate relation between the soloist, who performs on both alto and tenor recorder, and the tape, whose sounds are entirely derived from the modern and Renaissance soprano, alto, tenor, and contrabass recorders. The transformed sounds on tape create a "larger than life" image of the recorder through its harmonic drones, its extensions of human breath, its pipe-like resonances and percussive transients, and moreover, through reference to its history of creating melody in the various related instruments that are found in many cultures.

The live part interacts closely with the tape environment, mimicking it, commenting on it, riding its waves, and in the end, restraining it, as suggested by the I Ching hexagram Number 9, The Taming Power of the Small. Rain clouds in China, observes the I Ching, are brought by the east wind; it condenses water vapour into clouds, but in this case is not strong enough to create rain.

The work is dedicated to Peter Hannan who commissioned it with the aid of the Canada Council. The tape part was realized in the Sonic Research Studio at Simon Fraser University, and the live part was written with the assistance of the composer's POD computer music system for sound synthesis and composition.

East Wind is available on the Cambridge Street Records album Sequence of Earlier Heaven and the CD Pacific Rim.

Sound Example available

Score available


B. Truax, "Sequence of Earlier Heaven: The Record as a Medium for the Electroacoustic Composer," Leonardo, 20(1), 1988, 25-28.