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Chinese Songs

for high soprano and tape

Year:  1988   ·  Duration:  16m

Year:  1988
Duration:  16m

Kit Powell

Composer:   Kit Powell

Films, Audio & Samples

Sample Score

Sample: Page 1-2.

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First performed in a concert of the Swiss Computer Music Center with soloist Franziska Staeheli. Later performances in Bern (with a short lecture about it by me) and in Schaffhausen. Bruno Spoerri also played the tape abroad, in a demonstration of our work here.

Preparation for the work involved analysis of several Chinese instruments; Ch'in (a zither), gong and wood block. The wave analysis was done with a computer program and my imitations were realized on the Computer Music Center's DMX. There are two sets of texts: from the Tao Te Ching (Lao Tse) and from the I Ching. The Lao Tse texts were chosen by me and set with traditional notation. The I Ching texts were chosen by chance (with the computer) and set with a computer generated graphic notation. Proportions within the piece were also made with a computer program using chance and units of Golden Section.

This piece could be performed with two singers: one singing the Tao texts, the other singing the I Ching texts.

Dedication note

Dedicated to Franziska Staehelin

Contents note

four sections plus a prologue and epilogue

Text note

Text from the Tao Te Ching and the I Ching (two contrasting philosophies)

Performance history

Available on Powell: Prepared Tape; cassette. Performers unspecified