Latin American Electroacoustic Music Collection

alcides lanza, sensors IV (1983-V), 1983
[(part 1 of the) choral trilogy]

Recording time: 16 min 50 s.
Instruments: For choir, with electronic and computer sounds
Recorded at: Composer' studio (SHELAN Studio) and McGill University EMS. Montreal, QC, Canada.
Remarks: McGill Concert Choir. Christopher Reynolds, conductor. Choral trilogy: sensors IV (1983-V); un mundo imaginario (1989-II); in ...visible (1994-I).

Other resources available:
- Biography of alcides lanza
- Compositions by alcides lanza

About this composition:

sensors IV continues the exploration of different techniques of writing for voice, especially the relationship of semantics, languages and memory. In fact, the single word "memory" constitutes the entire text for the piece. the word is broken down into letter sounds, syllables, and recombinations of this word, plus unexpected ramifications when syllabes are taken from other languages that share similar etymology: memoria (Sp), and mémoire (Fr).

In this work, the sounds on tape polarize and extend the choral material. For the realization of sensors IV lanza fed a recording of the word "memories" into a Synclavier II sampling system. He extracted the form of the piece from the Signal Display - that is, the plotting of variations in amplitude against time. the general movement goes from continuous to discontinuous materials. At the same time, the text for the choir moves from vowels ( with almost no consonant content) to only consonants. Another parallel process concerns the changes from a first syllabic level, leading into words with two syllabes, then three-encountering "memory" in other languges, and several other words with different semantic content.

Premiere: McGill Concert Choir conducted by Christopher Reynolds. February 1, 1984, at Pollack Hall.