Performance and Sound Design: Connor Dowd, Joanna Lin, Will Martin, Karthik Varadharajan
Recording: Lauren McCall, Beach Clark, Rosa Westfall
In this score, there is a staircase with steps that look like piano keys. Depending on your perspective, you can “climb the staircase” either from the bottom of the page (going up) or from the top of the page (going down). Given this interpretation, we had each performer “travel” up or down the stairs by ascending or descending 1 or 2 octaves, using the C major scale as a harmonic template. We decided to design our sounds based on the “liminal space” in the score. Our sounds included sequenced, melodic arpeggiation, bell-like timbres, and industrial noise. Overall, the soundscape is spacey and somewhat reminiscent of the unsettled nature of Shepard tones. The structure of the performance is also based on the climbing of the staircase. There are three distinct sections in our piece—a consonant section, a chaotic/dissonant section, and a final second consonant section. The “stairs” of the staircase represent the consonant sections, where we play notes that are orderly and harmonically sound. Drawing inspiration from the score’s description, we interpreted the overlap in the staircase as interference patterns, which we interpreted as a dissonant, chaotic section halfway through the “climb”. The consonant sections consist of pitches from the C major triad, while the dissonant section contains pitches outside the C major scale as well as more chaotic and dissonant sounds. The Georgia Tech Laptop Orchestra is a laboratory for music technology majors to learn about audio synthesis, sound design, interactive music systems, and experimental musical forms. Learn more about Georgia Tech’s degree programs in music technology at https://music.gatech.edu.
The Georgia Tech Laptop Orchestra is a laboratory for music technology majors to learn about audio synthesis, sound design, interactive music systems, and experimental musical forms.