Liquid Sky (1998)15:57John YoungLa limite du bruit
To Vendela and Isabella
This work is an exploration of the sound-image of rain. In many ways, I felt the process of composing this piece to be one of revealing and expanding the myriad patterns and colors within the sound, normally noticeable only with very concentrated listening. Since I work exclusively with my own environmental recordings, I tend to see the compositional process as opening out of the richness of the act of listening itself, supported by the imaginative associations for which it can be a catalyst. Like many environmental sources, the sound of rain is extremely varied and, at least in theory, covers a whole range of morphologies from the individual droplet to saturated granular noise. In collecting source material I made numerous field recordings in different locations focusing on the sound of rain falling on different objects — such as leaves, windows and puddles — since it was clear that the variety of sound colors inherent in rain is largely defined by the nature of the surface it falls upon.
In processing these sounds, I tried to think about these distinctions: the ‘granular’ aspect tending towards long-term development of texture, and the ‘droplets’ providing models for attack-resonance structures. But in continuing with this idea, my approach was not always subtle! In the studio I tried to expand the gestural rhythm by superimposing the dramatic amplitude envelopes of fireworks onto the dense textures of heavy rain. And, with the use of multiple grouped resonators, I was able to impose defined pitch structures onto the material, allowing slowly evolving inharmonic spectra to eventually have a central role in the piece. As a whole, Liquid Sky aims to convey the feeling of a larger-than-life immersion in rain, and an intensified view of a powerful environmental phenomenon.
Liquid Sky was realized in 1998 in the studios of the Groupe de recherches musicales (Paris, France) and of
- Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
- Composer(s): John Young
- Year composed: 1998
- Premiere: March 20, 2000, Concert, Salle Olivier Messiaen — Maison de Radio France, Paris (France)
- ISWC: T0605726495
- Publisher(s): Ymx média
- ISRC: CAD500214730