How Long is the Coast of France? is a work about architecture, both in nature and man-made. I have an intense fascination with non-hierarchical structures, the geometric shape of fractals, and the contrast between the two concepts. As we continue to divide the sub-atomic particles, we see that these particles exist more and more independently of one another. Dividing a fractal reveals a smaller copy of the whole. In a sense, higher resolution in the natural world can lead to both infinite order and total independence. The following work is an attempt to emulate this dichotomy.
Sonically, … Coast of France? consists of a polyphony of voices (acoustic and electronic) that are particles of a whole. As each voice develops and oscillates independent of one another, they generate constantly shifting polyrhythms. In the brilliant overtones of metallic timbres we can hear even greater rhythmic complexity and independence. This set of overtones is intrinsically connected to the order of the primary sonic landscape, just as structural elements in nature exist independently and as part of an organized system.
Visually, the work posits that these concepts are relative to man-made architecture. Through digital manipulation, organized structures are skewed, distorted and blended until they are re-assembled without center. The resulting non-hierarchical images pulsate against a sonic palate, allowing the mind to make arbitrary connections between the senses.
Premiere performance by Brian Archinal, Scott Deal, and Morris Palter.
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