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Prix 1987 - 2007

ORF Oberösterreich

Michael Vaughan

'Crosscurrents' for harpsichord and tape uses the idea of concerto as a model, with the tape providing expansions and extensions of the harpsichord material using different combinations of synthesized and recorded sounds. These were created using various electroacoustic techniques of sound generation and manipulation including computer synthesis, MIDI and the traditional techniques of musique concrète .

The piece deals with various extremes of interaction between the harpsichord and tape arising from different characteristics of the sound world produced by the instrument. In the first large section of the piece, the tape and harpsichord combine to produce a form of 'meta-instrument'. As this section progresses, the general tendency is for the tape to become progressively more independent of the harpsichord culminating in a tape 'solo'. A harpsichord 'cadenza' follows this section with the remainder of the work working towards a further fusion of the two parts, thereby creating a cyclic form.
Most of the tape part was created by using a sequenced version of sections of the harpsichord part to drive various synthesized and sampled sounds in order to retain similar gestural profiles throughout the work. The gradual evolution of texture and register in the harpsichord part is composed using algorithmic techniques. (Michael Vaughan)