2009 “Stele I Ectoplasm”. Music performance for prepared piano, jazz trumpet, four percussionists and eight channel live-electronics.


This new 2008 version of STELE I is “ectoplasmic”: the dry percussive sounds of the prepared piano and muted trumpet emanate into the room, calling forth intangible, deformed echoes and memories.

The Max/MSP patch, written and performed by Navid Navab, use granular synthesis, ambisonic spatialisation and other DSP to create a sound-field that is almost indistinguishable from the original live instruments – creating something between a natual extension of the already mechanically manipulated instrument sound and a more computery hyper-instrument.

The performance of the patch, as well as the additional sounds from percussion instruments situated around the audience, navigates this continuum, leaving the audience to wonder which sounds are “real” and which are “augmented reality”. Using enhanced, “amplified” sound an non-amplified acoustic sound as different artistic modes of sound diffusion also questions established wisdom about spatialisation and “amplified reality” in concert sound projection.

In a parallel approach, the sound and music processing that produces the ectoplasm is both human and digital – while the piano piece is fully notated, Charles Ellison’s comprovising trumpet, four rhythm-processing claves players and the performed Max/MSP-sound processing and spatialisation patch provide intertwined auditive and musical micro-and-macro-movements, music and sounds traveling through the room in many trajectories, converging on each audience member in a specific, individual way. Thus, despite STELE I being one of my more concert hall-oriented works there is no preferred sweet spot in this piece, much as an ectoplasm has no center.



Stele I Ectoplasm (2009)