Latin American Electroacoustic Music Collection

Manuel Rocha Iturbide, Móin Mór, 1995

Recording time: 9 min 23 s.
Instruments: Electroacoustic composition for digital tape

Other resources available:
- About Manuel Rocha Iturbide
- Compositions by Manuel Rocha Iturbide

About this composition:

The title of this composition is Móin Mór, which is taken from an eighth century Irish poem. The piece source material comes from recordings made during my trip to Ireland in 1993 and recordings of an Irish Poet in Paris.

Mixing natural sounds, the spoken word and sounds recorded from daily life, I have created a work, which brings together the conflicting realities of contemporary Irish life. The piece begins with the deconstructed voice of the poem Móin Mór. The language is broken up into the consonant sounds of speech and becomes barely distinguishable, and its granular transformation recalls sounds from nature, which is a central element in Ireland. The voice then returns in a changed form -- with a stone like resonance-, representing the spirit of Ireland's ancient Celtic culture, and other sounds of daily life and granulated fiddle music can be heard. As the work gathers momentum the deconstructed voice returns (now making emphasis in vowel sounds) and the Gaelic language is more distinct. A new voice enters, the sound of a boy speaking English, "you're a bum, a bit of a bum, a bit of a bummy," he laughs. The boy represents a new generation of young people, many of who neither speak nor value the Irish language, and whom are indifferent to the past. The work ends with the deconstructed words of the poet blended with natural sounds of the ocean. An Aran islander, an old man who I met who barely spoke English, recites his own poem, almost singing. For me this represented hope that the Irish language will not be lost in our modernity. The principal synthesis technique used in the piece is granular synthesis in three different modes. Some sounds were transformed on Barry Truax system in SFU Vancouver Canada, other sounds were transformed on the ISPW station at IRCAM using FOF's as fundamental grains with a program designed by me in Max (using the FOG module designed by Gherard Eckel). The other granular sounds were made with Csound using Patchwork for generating the score files. Besides granular synthesis there is also some Convolution and reverberating filters used to transform sounds. The piece was digitally mixed at IRCAM.