“Ghosts” is sponsored by the New York-based violin and viola duo andPlay and the String Orchestra of Brooklyn. The work will be premiered in April 2020 and aims to be between 25 and 30 minutes long.
The work will be inspired by the sonic and cultural affects of whispers and computer-based speech recognition software's notorious inability to analyze them. Standard speech recognition software is trained to analyze the distinctive features of phonemes. However when whispering the standard pronunciation of phonemes is altered, causing computers to misidentify whispered words and assign incorrect or voiceless phonemes to the analyzed signal. “Ghosts” will explore the ambiguity and misidentification of whispered text, and the variety of associations (gossip, intimacy, secrecy, shame, and seriousness) that whispering evokes. The piece will be based on a fragmented text, formed around incorrectly produced speech recognition results. In the work, I will explore the rich spectral components of these whispered texts, and ultimately remove the linguistic or phonetic quality of them by transcribing them for solo and ensemble string instruments. The piece will explore the timbral similarities between whispered speech and extended techniques performed in the highest range of the instruments.
“Ghosts” is significant as it represents over five years of collaboration with andPlay. "Bezier" for violin and viola was written in 2013, and “Apocrypha” for violin, viola, and electronics was completed in 2017. Both works were developed in hands-on workshops with members of the ensemble in studio sessions or residencies. With “Ghosts” I look forward to bringing the personalized and idiosyncratic sonic pallet developed with andPlay to a larger instrumentation with the String Orchestra of Brooklyn.
Equipment required for performance: Computer running max/MSP, Logic Pro X, 4 vertically suspended florescent lights, 6 channel audio, small computer monitor-sized speakers, 16 feet of RGB LED strip, Headphone amp, 8-Channel Mixer, DMXIS USB to DMX Converter, Thin metal piping for geometric structures, Audio Interface 8-channel output, Associative XLR / 1/4 inch / 1/8th inch cables.