The sound world of the mid-century modern electronic music is a reference point for me. As a child experimenting with my father’s tape recorders, I was fascinated by the charm of sounds played fast, slow, and backwards. As a student composer, I was drawn to the otherworldly allure of tones submerged in plate reverberation made in studios long ago and far away (Cologne, Milan, Paris in the 1950s and 1960s). I brought this listening to the composition of my work Always.
Reuse is central to the construction of Always. This composition continues my research on nth-order sound granulation, spawning new material by pulverizing sounds from the past. The origin of the sound material in Always can be traced through four stages of granulation to a single impulse:
impulse (1999) → Volt air III (2003) → Now (2003) → Never (2010) → Always (2013)
In terms of form, Always is a polyrhythmic work in which many details are made out of replications of transformed parts of itself. I designed the work in two distinct sections, with a dissipating first section that sets the stage for the high-contrast fireworks of the second.