Top Back to Overview
Show only Direct Results
Show All Related Results
Back to Category-Overview
Back to Category-Search
(1 of 1 images)

As Lightning Comes, In Flashes

Artist: Joan La Barbara

Year: 1983
Country: United States
Catalog No: Wizard Records, RVW2283
Format: Vinyl Lp



Companies, etc.



All of the sounds on this record are created by my natural voice, layered to create different textures. No electronic manipulation was involved in the making of this group of pieces.

"Erin" (1980) was commissioned by VPRO Radio and recorded in Hilversum, Holland in May 1980. It is an imaginary vision of Ireland, a fantasy, blending playful and sombre reveries, Joyceian characters, conversations and folklore, with the discovery of language, all ending in a rich, multiphonics choir. Production VPRO-Holland. Recorded May 1980.

"Twelvesong" (1977), commissioned by Radio Bremen in Germany, is twelve individual tracks of voice recorded and mixed November 1, 1977 at Studio Nord in Bremen. As the first of the my "sound paintings" it is a sound fabric which reveals itslef over its twelve minute duration. When one encounters a painting for the first time, one takes in the whole and gradually, over time, notices more intricate detail. It is so also with "Twelvesong". A central focus is formed by three tracks of voice circularly singing (on inhale and exhale) a pitch area centering around E flat, microtonally changing the pitch to create beats and flutters in the tone. Around this foundation are percussive gestures, staccato pitches, patterns of repeated notes, high pitched vibrating or fluttering sounds, inhaled throat clicks, multiphonic chords (split-tones or one-voice chording: the simultaneous production of more than one pitch by one voice) all placed on the sound canvas as a painter adds certain colors, gestures and strokes. I see the sounds visually as I produce them and each sonic gesture has a reason for its existence.

"As Lightning comes, in flashes" (1981) was originally conceived as an outdoor performance piece for singers, dancers, oversize costumes that unfurled and were left behind as a sculptural environment, video and sound installations. Designed as a life metaphor, the image was that of overlapping entities, each fulfilling a life pattern which ebbs and flows and climaxes in its own time. In the remix of the materials for this recoring, each voice or character was given its own particular pocket, if stationary, or path to traverse the stereo soundscape, carefully choreographed as dancers performing at different speeds in the same space.
Recorded February-March 1981, remixed November 1982.