Prix Ars Electronica


ORF Oberösterreich

The selections for the Golden Nica (Trevor Wishart mit "Tongues of Fire") and the two Distinctions (Gilles Gobeil with "Le Vertige Inconnu" and Flo Menezes with "Parcours de l'Entité") were made on the basis of their imaginative musical use of the technical resources available to them. The prize-winning works show many and varied aspects of computer music today, all displayed within dynamic and distinctive contexts.

The works nominated by the jury for special mention were selected not only as good pieces in their own right, but also as examples of styles or genres characteristic of the diverse range of current activity in the field of computer music.

Trevor Wishart's "Tongues of Fire" is a 25 minute work for tape alone. It is a virtuoso display of a vast range of computer music techniques deployed with the greatest artistic fantasy. It has a remarkably high rate of eventuation supporting clear evolutionary and elaborative procedures. It is impossible to be bored listening to this piece! Trevor Wishart composes his electroacoustic works in his own home studio and does not therefore have the support of a large institution and all its technical resources behind him. Even though the hardware resources available to him are comparatively limited, his works demonstrate that this need not curb artistic creativity or curb conceptual integrity.

Trevor Wishart specializes in the performance of electroacoustic music, using elaborate multi-channel diffusion systems. Gilles Gobeil's "Le Vertige Inconnu" is a compact work with a clear formal concept -building to a high point, but repeatedly interrupted by unexpected events. Gobeil is one of a substantial group of Canadian composers who work within the traditions ofmusique concrete. In his prize-winning work, he has brought these to a high state of technical and artistic development. His skillful handling of sonic layers was especially noted.

The Brazilian composer, Flo Menezes's "Parcours de I'Entité" is an attractive example of the mixing of live instrumental and electroacoustic resources. The work's sensitive interaction between the precomposed sound structures of the tape and the instrumental resources of many different kinds of flute and metallic percussion displays a highly developed concern for timbral integration. The composer proposes a quasi-theatrical presentation which should enhance its performance.

"Parcours de I'Entité" confirms the view that South America is an increasingly active and important area for electronic arts in general and computer music in particular.

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