Shimmer- Overtones, Harmonics, electric guitars, Ebows and sampler

For this piece I wanted to try a different take on texture- in particular I wanted to play with the upper frequencies, the harsh, brittle, scratchy sounds I normally avoid like the plague in my music; partially because of the very fact I normally avoid this and also having completed a commission for organ and electronics, and diffused the sound several of the dates, the sound of organs (with often many high partials) in big reverberant spaces had given me food for thought; especially as I often like to challenge myself on my own stylistic ideas. I didn’t want to do anything obvious such as sample an organ, so I thought about making a sound that had organ-like properties, but might sound or behave differently in other ways- and this meant thinking about very lively sounds with lots of activity in the upper frequencies

So, from my experience there is one sound thats quite lively harmonically, and thats a clean electric guitar played with an ebow. So with this in mind I multi-tracked a three note cluster staring with G, then C (5th lower) and F (second lower than G) – mixed these together with a load of compression, then fed the mix into a sampler-which I then played as a keyboard instrument.

As the sampler increases or decreases the pitch of the original sample then different textures appear and in the very high notes, rhythms begin to appear and the texture dramatically changes.

So I composed the musical content with this in mind, using the full range of different timbres available from one sample- I initially improvised the sections, having tried the various texture combinations, and finally settled on a structure which I found suited the the sounds best. here are the results:-


About stuartrussellcomposer

Composer/ sound artist. Electronic musician. Modern classical composer
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