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Prix 1987 - 2007

ORF Oberösterreich

Alambic Rhythms
Kristi Allik, Robert Mulder

Kristi Allik was born in Toronto, Canada. She has received degrees from the University of Southern California, Princeton University and University of Toronto. She has received numerous awards and commissions including Canada Council Grants, Ontario Arts Council Grants, SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship; Chalmers Foundation Award, the Federation of University Women Award, and the Irving G. Mills Award. She has had performances of her works in Europe, the USA and Canada. Currently, Allik is on faculty at Queen's University School of Music where she teaches compositon, computer music and music theory.

Robert Mulder was born in Den Haag, Holland. Presently he lives in Kingston, Canada, where he operates the experimental Lumi Art Audio-Visual Laboratory. Since the early sixties Mulder has designed and built Lumia performance instruments, worked with multi-image slide projections, video projections, and "living screen" stage techniques. In 1986 he was appointed to the New Media Faculty of the Ontario College of Art.

"Alambic" is defined as "anything which transforms, purifies or refines". In this presentation "alambic" refers to the gradual transformation of the earthly into the ethereal.

The work "Alambic Rhythms" is subdevided in three major sections. The first section, "Earth (landscape)", deals with the earthly aspects, the solidity of the land, and the indiscernible changes that occur. Therefore, this section deals with changes that are not directly perceived, but understood only in time, being beyond our immediate comprehension. The second section, labelled "Water (loon)", acts as a bridge between the concrete and the spiritual; this section deals mainly with the process of transformation. The subject (i.e., the Common Loon), which frequents water as well as air, is bound to the realm of reality, as well as the ethereal. The third section, "Air", represents the forces of eternal and the ethereal through the use of complex collages of all of the previous material. This work was commissioned by the Music Gallery, Toronto.

The music for "Alambic Rhythms" was created by a combination of digital sound synthesis and digital signal processing. Sound sources for the middle section, "Water", includes live recordings of loon sounds and passages sung by coloratura soprano. These sounds were later digitally recorded and processed by use of the analogue-to-digital processor. The sounds for the final section, "Air", were also created primarily through the use of frequency modulated digital sound. Sections of the work were realized at the University of Western Ontario Digital Sound Laboratory.

Much of the visual material in this piece was generated by digital means, using the Amiga 1000 microcomputer and the Digiview digitizer. Other material was recorded in natural environments. The loons were photographed in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario. The mountain and forest scenes were photographed in British Columbia and Alberta.

Other images were created by the assembly of miniature stages and macro photography (or were digitized this way). All of the slides were assembled by hand. The work uses a distinct horizontal matting technique (also computer generated) in which all of the coloured segments are optically compounded in the final projection. The projected image consistantly adheres to the "formal", square 46 mm slide format. Visually the work appears to he a "seamless" and continuously moving and evolving landscape.

The piece utilizes the following electronical and optical equipment: nine slide projectors controlled by three Electrosonic ES 4003 dissolve units. Synchronization is achieved via an Apple computer or Electrosonic ES 4025 tape interface. The sound track was digitally recorded with a Sony PCM encoder on Beta Hi-Fi or U-Matic 3/4 inch format. Stereo sound track.