Porpoise for three synthesizers. 2019 UA 23.11.2019 Villa Elisabeth Berlin, Reviving the tradition, Neue Kompositionen für Synthesizer
Silke Lange, Sebastian Berweck, Martin Lorenz, Synthesizer
Sections: I buzz, raspy // II pulsating // III synthetic, strings, harmonies // IV formants, vocalising // V light in a polar night, shimmering // VI snow storm, wadded noise // VII "thickets"
Porpoise aims to explore some aspects of the nature of synthesizers as electronic instruments. Each specific synthesizer - chosen by the performers - incorporates an idiomatic sound world which derives from the sound synthesis principles it is built upon, but even more from the way the instruments work as interfaces, as tools, as instruments.
The work consists of seven sections that are characterised by one timbre - described as a sound image in the score - and a corresponding mode of sound production on each specific synthesizer. The sound timbre is explored by shaping two or more parameters of the sound in parallel. Changes go forth and back, or proceed in a continuous movement/scale, they are structured by the interfaces of the instrument (knob/slider, keyboard, button). Of interest is what happens on a microscopic scale, where the overlay of the modulating electronic sounds becomes 'alive' and the process of listening and observing what the instrument/'machine' does and what the other players do - process and emergence. The score also contains further elements, for example 'disruptions' as a sudden change (in volume, register, density, etc.), as a sound event that stands out, and is remarkably different.
In early 2021, Lange/Berweck/Lorenz created a video for Porpoise. A modular rig of analog and digital video tools was used to perform the video in real time, just as synthesizers and a modular rig of analog and digital audio tools were used to perform the composition on stage.
The piece came into existence in a close collaboration process with the trio, and the video now can be seen as an extension of this creative exchange.