Shifting Shadows (2012) is inspired by Stockhausen’s Mikrophonie 1 (1964), in which the sounds of a tam-tam are manipulated in real time by the movement of hand-held microphones and through electronic filtering and diffusion of the amplified sound.
In my work three traditional Javanese gamelan instruments – gambang (xylophone), slenthem (metalophone), and rebab (spiked fiddle) – are activated by an array of household materials to generate sounds. In live performance I intend for additional ‘players’ to create other layers of sound using a microphone as a musical instrument. The recording attempts to convey this layering of sound.
The character of Shifting Shadows was inspired by the idea of the ‘familiar spirit’, which in old European folklore is a supernatural entity, sometimes taking the form of an animal or human figure, to assist witches and other cunning folk. The sounds used in Shifting Shadows are eerie, intimate and gestural, giving the impression of an unknown creature.