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Peter Batchelor - Kaleidoscope

Peter Batchelor - Kaleidoscope

Not every modern electro-acoustic/electronic composition jumps out at you like a jack-in-the-box. Some works say what they want to say in slowly unwinding narratives, so you have to open up and concentrate over time to get what the composer intended.

That's how Peter Batchelor's series of works collectively known as Kaleidoscope (Pogus 21073-2) plays out--slowly. There are five segments in all, four in the "Kaleidoscope: Cycle" and one in "Kaleidoscope: Arcade". They were composed for eight-channel playback and the set comes with a DVD that allows for that (or for that matter 5:1). The CD gives you a two-channel version.

The various sections were composed between 2004 and 2013. It is a music of silence and sound, the sound being mainly unpitched event fragments with some recognizable but electronically transformed pitched elements entering into the segments at seemingly critical junctures.

It is music for the long-haul, long-formed unfoldings of abstract sound, some of it rather quiet, all of it less performative than discursive, a thoughtful conversation of sound between aurally transformed sound materials.

The multi-speaker DVD version brings out the discursive give-and-take of the music more dramatically, but the two-channel CD version brings it together in ways that remain comprehensible.

I won't say that this is my favorite electronic work this year. It is a work that I need to hear more. There is a particular complexity that does not readily avail itself to you without study, close listening in an undistracted environment.

Give Kaleidoscope that attention and you will begin to feel its importance. That is saying something. Whether this is "great" or only extraordinarily interesting (which is enough) I have not decided. Time is necessary! Give a listen and decide for yourself. - Grego Applegate Edwards

Peter Batchelor’s Kaleidoscope is an acousmatic work meant to model in sound the kinds of dynamic patterns visible through a kaleidoscope. The five pieces that make up the work were composed for a listening environment situated in the middle of eight speakers arranged in a circle; listening to the recording can only approximate the spatial effects obtainable in such a setting, and to that extent is something like listening to a reduction for piano of an orchestral work. Still, there’s much to like when these pieces are listened to just for the way they organize sound.

For the first four tracks, Batchelor arranges digital samples to trace the trajectory of things breaking apart, the pieces diverging and converging again. Drawing on a variety of sound sources, including field recordings of natural and artificial phenomena, and using looping, repetition, and granular manipulation, Batchelor juxtaposes similar and contrasting sound colors of varying intensities, density and dynamics to achieve his aim. Though the identity of the sound sources is for the most part obscured by manipulation—this is acousmatic music, after all—sometimes, as in Fuse’s recognizable samples of rainfall, they reveal themselves. The final piece, an aural portrait of a gaming arcade, evokes its subject through chirps, beeps and buzzes that will elicit memories in anyone who’s ever played a game of Space Invaders in a public space.

Kaleidoscope comes as a two-disc set. A DVD-ROM contains the work in its full, original eight channel format, while a stereo CD is included as well. - Dan Barbiero, Avant Music News

 [translated from Italian[ Peter Batchelor is a composer of electroacoustic Birmingham with specialization in the field of spatialization and sound installations. E 'among those composers who delved into one of the most fascinating problems of electro-acoustic theories, namely that the construction of sound devices such as " trompe l'oreille , "meaning that" trick "the ear, making us believe that they live the sound source at inside.

The Pogus Records, a label of the current most active in the field of electronics and electro-view perspective of abstract experimentation and interactions, has recently published a compendium of the work of Batchelor where English formalizes a record in his ten-year study on the subject. The CD collects cycles tried to live " Kaleidoscope ": the reference is to those little gizmos that tubulars have been so successful in the past, having an outlet end view, useful to see a game of beads dynamic set in motion by rotation of the tube. As explained in the notes Batchelor, this dynamic generation of symmetric images can also be applied to the world of sounds, when you think about the rapid changes the sound itself may suffer as a result of a particular configuration of space or movement of musicians and listeners in space required by the exhibition. The song remains the same, but the perception of it changes by virtue of our physical location.

For his installations Batchelor uses pre-recorded that accompany a speaker system 8 or 12 channels deployed in the hall according to a strict order of allocation. The purpose of "Kaleidoscope" is to create a sound environment in which to "live" in person these dynamics of the sound, and it is certainly the latter that we must start to make commensurable the sonic journey. In the five compositions present Batchelor shows already have that ability compenetrativa that is often lacking in the world electroacoustic, a march in the activity proved to be more closely related to the sound materials to be assembled: the sound reproduction stimulates masterfully around the optical axis of the tube, provided it is equivalent sound, even through break or at least were waiting; dynamism "sonic" of the beads is something that has to do with our rotary motion, and amplifying proactive context you can provide images musically strong, also a victim of the complexity of matching dynamic, but they are able to express feelings dazzling. Batchelor's skill lies in knowing how to separate the movements so as to provide those phases with different texture that you "found" in the sound world that we experience.

As already stated several times in these pages, the phenomenon of spatiality is not negotiable in a technological path to fruition physical (such as support Peter recommends buying the DVD and not the CD) as a path that ultimately makes it available as a result of the different perception of the listener: the multiple sensations that come out from listening to the music in a room pre-configured can not be transferred on CD and I do not see how this could happen; on this point the event technology, already concerned about the lack of sales of the CD, I think it is only able to "collapse" the space environment in a stereo version, in which, however, appreciate a unique generic point of view of listening to this type. If I were in different places of the room, my perception of the sounds would be different. Thanks to some new computer is not even in the type of use, I'm thinking. example of what has been done to build the cds that can be read dynamically, in which the music files can be listened to only through a PC that plays them in a different way and random. However, it is certainly more difficult to transfer the concepts of variability of the recording depending on our perceptions. But, beyond technical considerations, the cycles of "Kaleidoscope" turn out to be excellent electro-acoustic works, both when they simulate the fracture of the beads or their shifts, and when the will is to live other reality as the reality equivalent sound multifaceted that it is listening from gaming machines (flippers or other similar) as in the cycle of "Arcade".

This condition is still critical to understand, however, that it is always the quality of the idea and the basics of sound to be important to be able to cause that effect in our system aural illusion. - Hector Garcia, Percosi Musicali
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