Thursday, January 19, 2006


One of my favorite pieces for voice is Pauline Oliveros Sound Patterns from the 60's. In it, Oliveros uses the chorus to recreate classic ElectroAcoustic analog techniques, like ring modulation, noise generators, filtering, etc. It is a really neat piece, only available on vinyl (hint hint record labels).

At any rate, there is now a pop culture version of these same vocal techniques, appearing in this Honda commercial. In some ways this is fairly pedestrian, but it also made me wonder why we don't get commercials like this in the States....


Anonymous Steve Wanna said...

I'm intrigued by the fact that this video comes from the UK. Any idea who made the music.

There’s a piece by the English composer Trevor Wishart – one of the Vox series, no. 3, if I’m not mistaken – that seems to have almost the same idea as Oliveros’s Sound Patterns (though I haven’t heard Sound Patterns). It’s for 4 voices and sounds very electronic and heavily processed, but there is no processing (4 acapella voices). It’s a stunning piece. He’s a very capable vocalist (NOT singer) and was able to describe in detail all the techniques required to make many of these sounds. He apparently wrote a very meticulous score, in which he attempts to codify many of the sounds and “processings” with graphic symbols. The score itself is purportedly a work of art in its own rite. I understand that it was acquired by some British museum or gallery for display.

Why we don’t have commercials like this this side of the pond? Similar reasons why only a dead composers and a handful of live ones ever get performed: marketability (i.e. go with what you know sells and don’t ever try anything different, inventive or the least bit challenging).

1/20/2006 5:41 PM  

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