Peter Batchelor: composer, sound designer

Kaleidoscope

for four trombones and eight-channel tape | December 2001, 5'08

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NOTES | SPATIALISATION | EXTRACT

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Mirrors reflect the coloured beads within, creating patterns of varying complexity which evolve as it turns. Even the most subtle movements produce dramatic changes in colour, density and texture.

The name of this piece refers to the children’s optical toy which generates symmetrical patterns by using several mirrors to reflect fragments of glass in a tube. It also refers to the approach to its soundworld, reflecting the notion of kaleidoscope: the constant and rapid change of multiple elements in scintillating complexity. The former definition was prompted by the name of the quartet for which it was written (In-Slide-Out) and by the configuration of the performers and loudspeakers for the piece: trombones in the centre facing out towards and an enclosing ring of eight loudspeakers. The contrasts and polarities suggested between the various opposites – inside and outside (centre and periphery), real and unreal, acoustic and digital, live and fixed-medium – are explored in this piece.

Kaleidoscope is the first in a series of pieces designed to create fluid and immersive sound fields in which the position and orientation of the listener can be flexible.

 

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