F A I L E D F O R E S T // G O L D E N G R I D explores the relationship between text and sound through a series of transformations.
FF//GG began as a prose poem which uses organic and violent imagery inset and juxtaposed with ‘special characters’ and symbols of code such as brackets, underscores, parentheses, etc. This document was then run through a markov chain to generate a 15-page text.
The 15-page text was then read aloud and recorded. This recording was processed with custom software. The data from the written text document was run through the custom software, resulting in random, glitch-like processing of the recording. Thus what you hear is not only the text being read, you hear the text (written) processing the text (aural.)
The recorded and processed text is then divided into several sections based on how the digital text ‘arranged itself.’ These text blocks form the basis for the composition, and the original text grows almost completely obfuscated. Sonically, Part 1 of FF//GG is comprised of over 200 original samples which are triggered and manipulated using gestural control via LEAP Motion controller with an object modified in max/msp.
Each sample is also associated with a section (large or small) of text, thereby generating a textual score which allows the piece to be consistent in performance. For example, the final coda featuring a synthetic chord progression is associated with the phrase: “<gold all> gold upon gold among you gold all <gold all>” which in the score is then repeated three times. In a middle section with polyphonic microtonally modulated voice, each vocal sample is triggered by text preceding or following the fragment: “/facedown,” such as “fire licked my /facedown” and “/facedown split open.”
Conceptually, I wanted to create a piece about violence, control, and repetition. My intention was to reflect this material with shifting and growing sonic density, dissonant intervals and frequencies that metastasize and transform one another, incessant, obliterated text, and recurring motifs both textual and musical — both text and sound revolve around a tonal center.
Returning again to repetition and control, the hands form a language to express that which is unspeakable. The performer/composer is silent and controls textual and sonic violence with subtle, delicate hand gestures. Unique to FF/GG is repetition and simulacra without looping; for instance, the counterpoint organ motif that recurs throughout the duration of the piece is uniquely triggered and manipulated in rotating patterns of 6/8 and 7/8.