Sound Collage Proposal – Draft

Given that I have a deep interest in both musique concretè and composition in general, I would like to create a piece that showcases a variety of processed and non-processed sounds arranged in a musical manner. I want to focus on sounds taken from my violin because I think string instruments are fantastic sound generators and I love them both musically and aesthetically. Specifically, I want to avoid “traditional” sounds and focus instead on the innate sounds of the instrument itself, though I may decide to incorporate some traditional sounds if I think it suits the work.

The sounds will be varied with some lower, percussive sounds (striking the body of the violin, for example), very high-pitched, thin sounds (plucking the strings in the pegbox or below the bridge), and some “chance” sounds (dropping the bow onto the strings at various angles and sides). I do not have any specific structural form in mind, but I would like to introduce a few cyclical motives in the composition that help to guide the listener. I also want to have textural contrasts between sections.

I would like people to listen to the piece acousmatically, as I do often when I listen to music, and think of the sounds both within the context of string instruments (causally/semantically) and also outside of the realm of instrumental performance entirely with a focus on their characteristics (reduced). In varying the amount of audio processing in the samples, I would like to vary how much I obfuscate the sound source. This, given no visual stimulus, allows one to both focus on the cause or meaning of the sound (“why is it occuring here?” or “from where is that sound?”) as well as the acoustic elements of the sound itself.

3 thoughts on “Sound Collage Proposal – Draft

  1. George,
    I really like the alternative approach to your own instrument. I see this as an opportunity to break the rules of convention and really explore the lesser known sounds the violin can produce. Im excited to hear where this goes!


  2. Hi Jorge,

    I know we talked about lots of different potential ideas, and I’m not sure if any one stood out to you as particularly interesting…however, I thought I’d throw out one more: I’m wondering, if your interest is in working with the violin, ultimately, whether you might reconsider the types of sounds you might want to use. I think it would be interesting, for instance, to explore the violin in terms of its repertoire and history. You could create a piece that takes brief, recognizable excerpts from a wide variety of pieces and create essentially a condensed musical history of the violin.

    I’m not suggesting you necessarily take this exact route, but just another perspective on working with the violin in a recorded context.

    Hope this helps!

    • Abby,

      That’s a brilliant idea! Thank you! As I told you, I still wasn’t fully feeling the direction I chose, and I am really excited to try and pursue your suggested direction.

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