Wire and Wind: acousmatic composition 5.1 and stereo formats

Tom Williams (Artist)

Research output: Practice-Based and Non-textual ResearchComposition


Output Title: “Wire & Wind” STATEMENT Music Composition: acousmatic, 5.1 surround sound, (stereo mix submiotted) 10-minutes CD submission only (N.B. acousmatic music (sonic art) has no performers and no score) In writing abstract acousmatic music there are always questions around (extra)musical meaning, structure and organisation. This work researches into the sonic properties and resonate meanings of ‘wire’ and ‘wind’ within an electroacoustic compositional context. It investigates formal coherent structures while maintaining sensitivity to the ‘source bonding’ inherent in ‘concrete’ samples. The compositional process begins by extracting a range of short note/nodal metallic sounds (from wire and corrugated iron samples made in the field) and these are spectrally analysed and transformed, through the context of a musical (sonically abstract) language. Through musical discourse, by contrast and layering, the discrete sonic ‘noise’ properties of wind versus ‘nodal’ properties of wire-oscillations are argued. This formal process and musical argument is similar to contrasting 1st and 2nd subjects in conventional sonata form –in fact, it is atypical in the genre to find work that interrogates instrumental forms within sound-based, non-referential, music composition. The work is then organised within a framework that allude to the structural design in sonata form. The intertwining of three distinct notions drove the compositional research: 1. Catalan artist Antoni Tàpies resonates in this work: the roof wire sculpture, “Cloud and Chair” - Tàpies Foundation, Barcelona,. 2. a mass of tangled, rusting wire and twisted metal poles piled high that oscillate and whistle as the wind blows 3. the Chinese symbols of metal (wire: man made, hard but malleable, made from iron (steel) and air (breath, life, chi). The work has had a range of international performances that include Toronto Electroacoustic Symposium, Canada; International Computer Music Conference 2012, Ljubljana; Leeds International Festival for Innovations in Music Production and Composition: Noisefloor Festival, Staffordshire University; Sonorities Festival – Queens University, Belfast.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2012


  • composition
  • electroacousti
  • acousmatic


Dive into the research topics of 'Wire and Wind: acousmatic composition 5.1 and stereo formats'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this