Antiphon in Memory of Pierre Boulez for 2 flutes, 2 clarinets, and 2 spaces


Abstract / About the project


Antiphon in Memory of Pierre Boulez for 2 flutes, 2 clarinets, and 2 spaces with electronics, 14:53. Commissioned by the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble. Premiered 7 July 2016 Hong Kong and Zurich (simultaneous telematic performance).

Antiphon furthers Keyes' interest in multi-channel real-time DSP but extends it multiple spaces. It was written to fulfill a commission to write a telematic work, commissioned shortly after the passing of Pierre Boulez. One of his most powerful musical memories was hearing a performance of Boulez conducting his spatialized work Répos in 1986. The objective of the piece was to mirror, to some degree, Boulez’s style, his antiphonal use of instrumentalists and loudspeakers, to limit the use of real-time processing to those he had available to him in 1986, and to extend the spatial aspects of the music to a larger, inter-city spaces.

The major challenge to overcome, native to all telematic works, is constantly fluctuating latencies of roughly 200 – 900 milliseconds. Because of this, many telematics pieces are either metric but lacking precise coordination, or more amorphous works that lack the drive of metered music. To address this, the score contrasts tightly controlled, measured music between the players at both locations, with more flexible and senza-misura writing for instruments between both locations. Reversal O (above) is an example.

In performance, each of the audiences in the two spaces/cities are surrounded by 4 loudspeakers. The signal processing was accomplished by linked, identical software in each location, with only the dry signals of four instruments needing to be streamed. This effectively avoided streaming both the four dry instrumental signals with an additional eight wet signals, which could VERY easily run out of sync, potentially having the wet signals arrive before the dry signals, and with the resulting sonic chaos.

The results of the unique scoring and audio configuration were that rehearsals went on with particular ease, and far more time spent on performance details, with refreshingly little time devoted to technical issues.

Works are released on Blu-ray and DVD "A CONNOTATION OF INFINITY" by PARMA Records in May 2020 with digital distribution by NAXOS Records and others. Available in Stereo, 5.1 and 13.1 (3D audio) channel formats with video.