Through a Network of Lines That Interlace
Stoll, Thomas M.
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Through a Network of Lines that Interlace is a piece for a trio of voices—two tenors and one soprano—and 5.1 surround sound fixed media. One of the tenors must be able to sing overtones, and there are optional, fully notated parts that may be performed in lieu of the prerecorded voices in the tape part (one bass or baritone, and one soprano). The piece combines texts not at all related by subject, language, or historical context. A French translation of the Tao-Te-King , originally written in Chinese, contains within itself several dozen sections, each open to widely divergent interpretations and translations. The chosen passages are highly self-referential allusions to the Tao or the Way, itself the subject matter of the text as a whole.“Cad Goddeu” is a Middle Welsh poem that originally existed in an oral tradition for several centuries. Its subject matter is purportedly an ancient battle, but an analysis of this poem and others in The White Goddess by Robert Graves surmises references to ancient codes and symbols hidden within the poem's rich and splintered symbolism. The third text is a poem written by the composer pondering a time from the furthest, faintest reaches of human cultural memory, a time just before human language and utterance crossed into the domain of written symbols. The computer-generated sounds for the piece were created using corpus-based audio processing software developed by the composer. Many of the compositional strategies, including the tendency to treat texts and musical materials as tangible resources, were inspired by research and development of computer algorithms for corpus-based processing (CBP). In particular, the segmentation and abstraction of material in all stages of composition were treated in an analog fashion to units in CBP. The three texts served as source material in the same way that recordings of sung material and other sampled sounds served as source recordings for the tape part.