PLOrk : Listen!

PLOrk in New York (NYC Debut)
"Ear to the Earth" Sound and Music Festival, 3-Legged Dog, NYC

Natural Sounds and Imagined Places

Alan Tormey | Ananya Misra | Andrea Mazzariello | Anne Hege |
Ge Wang | John Fontein | Laurie Hollander | MR Daniel | Michael Hammond | Perry R. Cook | Rebecca Fiebrink | Scott Elmegreen | Spencer Salazar

Directed by Perry Cook and Ge Wang
(special thanks to Jen Stock and Aleksei Stevens for making this happen!)

For the "Ear to the Earth" Festival, PLOrk has prepared a special set of sounds and musical works that explore our environments - both real and imagined, human and natural. These pieces do not aim to convey a single idea or message, but simply to evoke and to immerse the listener in familiar as well as alternate sonic surroundings.

1. Take it for Granite
Perry Cook

listen: mp3 | stream

This sonic landscape was mined from recordings of stone sculptor Jonathan Shor's working of a large piece of granite. I recorded him drilling, placing shims, tapping the shims, and the wonderful sound of millions of years of energy being released as the stones split. The PLOrk players manipulate these sounds via a ChucK program that allows them to change proporties of the sounds. Eventually, a rhythmic pattern emerges (the striking) wherein the individual PLOrk players control both texture and synchronization.

2. ... to shining sea
Alan Tormey
Performed by Alan Tormey and Anne Hege

listen: mp3 | stream

This duet is an excerpt of a larger work-in-progress that will focus on the aural and mental imagery of the United States. Oceans are the true borders, dividing the new world from the old, the west from the east. They tell the stories of Plymouth Rock and Jamestown. They invoke manifest destiny.

3. a breeze brings...
Scott Smallwood

listen: mp3 | stream

This "prelude" came about as a result of several mornings of hacking in ChucK (a Princeton-developed computer music programming language developed by Ge Wang). As I listened to the wind chimes outside my door, I began to realize that they were influencing the intuitive process of my experimentations. Before long I had created some algorithmic instruments that sounded rather nice together. This piece grows slowly out of the acoustic soundscape of the space, and then slowly subsides back into it, like a very slow breeze.

4. Cirrus Pattern
Spencer Salazar

listen: mp3 | stream

This piece combines a few popular synthesis techniques and a simple chord progression to lazily meander through skies. The software used to perform this piece introduces a large degree of randomness in the development of textures and rhythms, gradually producing an amorphous harmonic mass. Performers augment this process by providing further timing variations and freely adjusting specific synthesis parameters. Finally, a conductor directs the musical and physical flow of the piece over a wireless network, cueing movement between different textures and movement of the sound around the stage.

5. Crystalis
Ge Wang

listen: mp3 | stream

This is a sonic rumination of crystal caves in the clouds, where the only sounds are those of the wind and the resonances of the crystals. It uses two simple instruments called the crystalis and wind-o-lin. These instruments make use of the laptop keyboard (which controls pitch and resonance) and the trackpad (which the players "bow" in various patterns to generate sound). See instrument instructions (pdf).

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