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Thread: Helena Gough

  1. #1
    Senior Member Edward Elgar's Avatar
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    Default Helena Gough

    I know it's a bit naughty of me to put a fairly unknown composer in this section and I understand if it is to be deleted. However, I've just been to one of her concerts tonight and not only did I have a musical revelation, but I was deeply moved.

    To try to explain this I should try to describe Gough's work. Her instrument is the laptop (which I now see as a genuine instrument and didn't before). Her music is recorded from the tinyest things, deconstructed and reconstructed into new sounds. All this is mixed live, by that I mean spacially and the mixing of various samples in front of an audience. Added to the mix are sine waves that are manipulated to great effect, also mixed in live.

    The thing I took away most is my realisation that I rely too much on visual stimuli and cues in order to enjoy music. I was able to totally switch off on a concious level and let the music be the cues and stimulation for my own imagination. What this felt like I can't describe properly but I hope everybody can feel the same way at some point. If I were to describe it in two words it would be "me time". It was time for me to get to know myself by how my unconcious (or what I could coax out of my unconcious (which sounds odd I know but bear with me)) gave me the visions of my past and beautiful and terrifying distortions of my previous reality.

    I'll never listen to Beethoven the same way, and when I do next I hope to employ the same technique of active listening and not be disrupted by visual cues. As Stockhausen rightly put "The eyes are the ears of out time".

    http://www.myspace.com/helenagough

    http://www.helenagough.net/

    Her music is best heard live, if she comes near your closest city, for god's sake go!!!
    Last edited by Edward Elgar; Jan-30-2009 at 00:16. Reason: I forgot to put links to listen to her material!!!
    When all the paint has been dried, when all the stone has been carved, music shall remain, and we shall work with what remains.

  2. #2
    Andante
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    You should put a youtube link if there is one, that's the only way most will hear her.

  3. #3
    some guy
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    I think what you did was fine, Elgarian! I'm listening to the snippets of hers on her myspace page as I type. It's pretty good stuff.

    Known composers we can find for ourselves, after all. (Though I have to confess that your entry on Sciarrino followed my "discovery" of him by mere weeks!)

    (I probably go to more laptop concerts than any other nowadays. The last one I went to featured Chris Penrose controlling laptop sound files with two i-Phones, Peter Karman and Michael Hallenbeck in a laptop duet, as well as J P Jenkins on electric guitar and an ensemble piece by Drew Adams. One of the composers I met in 2007 at the Bourges festival of electroacoustic music, Diana Simpson, is also a laptop artist. Her myspace is

    http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm...ndid=163626081

    if you want to hear more and different. Happy listening!)

  4. #4
    Andante
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    Ha, I now have sound, don't know which is better

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    Quote Originally Posted by some guy View Post
    The last one I went to featured Chris Penrose controlling laptop sound files with two i-Phones.
    LOL! That sounds cool
    Last edited by Arnold Schoenberg; Mar-11-2009 at 09:33. Reason: end the quote!

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    That concert was ace, however I was very dissapointed with the laptop orchestra. It just seemed as though they were playing samples, as opposed to Helena, playing with samples.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Edward Elgar's Avatar
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    I've been inspired by Gough's music to write a computer composition based on sample manipulation. I've recorded myself on the piano, and during the piece I'm going to try and make the sound gradually unrecognisable. This, with the aid of my own synthesized sine waves should amount to a Gough-like (or should I say god-like!) composition. One can only hope (or pray!).
    When all the paint has been dried, when all the stone has been carved, music shall remain, and we shall work with what remains.

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