Simpson, Diana [Composer] (2007) Cipher. (Acousmatic). Brazil : PANaroma. (Música Maximalista / Maximal Music, no. 14: VII)


‘...I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.’ (Umberto Eco) Cipher explores a range of sound material associated with cryptography. Through the use of Morse code rhythms, mechanisms and electrical sparks, there are references to early mechanical devices built for code making and breaking purposes, in particular the Enigma encryption machine used during World War II. These elements are continually being revealed, obscured, repeated or interrupted, as is possible in the transmission of any code. Over the course of the piece, broken elements gradually merge to reveal voices, often very fragmented, and rarely intelligible. The original sound material was gathered from a variety of sources and includes Morse code, a typewriter, small mechanical parts and glass fragments. In addition, much of what might initially seem mechanical or ‘glitch’ to the listener may be derived from recordings of extended vocal techniques, performed by Sarah Alexander. The work was composed during a Bourges Competition residency at CEMI, the Center for Experimental Music and Intermedia at the University of North Texas, USA.

Item Type: Composition
Additional Information: Received an Honourable Mention in CIMESP 2007 (The International Electroacoustic Music Contest of Sao Paulo), Brazil, 2007. Performances include: New York Electroacoustic Music Festival (NYCEMF), 27 Mar 2010. ‘Earfest’, Staller Center Recital Hall, Stony Brook University, New York, 11 Mar 2010. Sonic Arts Research Centre, Belfast, 18 Feb 2009. National University of Ireland, Maynooth, 24 Oct 2008. Fylkingen, Stockholm, Sweden, 13 Sep 2008 BIMESP, 16 Aug 2008, SESC Vila Mariana, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Australasian Computer Music Conference (ACMC), Sydney, 10 Jul 2008. Petit Theatre Mercelis, Brussels, 08th Feb 2008. ‘Soundings’, University of Edinburgh, Reid Hall, 01 Feb 2008. ‘Soundings’, University of Edinburgh, Reid Hall, 03 Nov 2007. CIMESP 2007 Finalists’ Concert, Theater of SESC-Ipiranga in Sao Paulo, Brazil, 28 Aug 2007. ‘Sound Junction’, University of Sheffield, 10 May 2007. MANTIS weekend, Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama, Manchester, 11 Feb 2007.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cipher, acousmatic, fixed media, Simpson, Salazar, CIMESP
Research Area: Music
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (until 2017) > School of Performance and Screen Studies
Depositing User: Diana Salazar
Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2010 12:17
Last Modified: 08 Jul 2010 13:18
DOI: SPAN 199022833

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