'Dislocation': Site Specific Composition in Performance

Adrian Palka

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationMusic and Sonic Art: Volume I: Practices and Theories
    EditorsGeorge E. Lasker, Mine Dogantan-Dack, John Dack
    Place of PublicationOntario, Canada
    PublisherIIAS - International Institute for Advanced Studies in Systems Research and Cybernetics
    ISBN (Print)9781897233511
    Publication statusPublished - 2010
    EventIntersymp conference 2010 - Baden-Baden, Germany
    Duration: 2 Aug 20106 Aug 2010


    ConferenceIntersymp conference 2010

    Bibliographical note

    Author's note: The paper was published through a peer review process and published with an ISBN number for the respected Intersymp conference in Baden-Baden Germany in 2010.
    The paper offers a reflective analysis of an original compositional method based on site specific responses to architectural and acoustic phenomena as well as engaging with the symbolic qualities of the performance site, Coventry Cathedral and it’s mission of promoting peace and reconciliation.. The paper outline a close account of the creative research methods from its authors and the resulting compositional strategies involved in the performance. The composition was determined by the resonant frequencies of the building, the character and delay of the echoes this created and the architectural determination of specific listening places. The design of “sonic suitcases” to carry voices around the space and manifest the theme of sonic displacements reflecting the psychic disorientations of war, was one unusual strategy. The use of a multi channel speaker system and the spatialisation of chosen sound materials complemented this approach to sonic and performance space. The ensemble used unusual sculpted instruments, the Steel Cello and Bow Chime to represent the central unity of symbolic and musical content and also referred to the biography of the principal performers, war time refugees from Germany and Poland, Bob Rutman and Rolf Gehlhaar to elaborate the theme. Both these ensemble members are musical artists with significant international reputations.


    • site specific composition
    • acoustic phenomena
    • Coventry Cathedral

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