Electroacoustic Composition

2020

 

Is There an If? 

for flute and electronics

Link to score: 

https://issuu.com/shuyulincomposer/docs/lin_isthereanif

Link to scrips for electronics: 

https://github.com/shuyulin/isThereAnIf

2019

 

Requiem for Beauty 

for soprano, ensemble and electronics

Premiere: Jun. 7, 2019 Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, University of York

Soprano- Clare Lesser

Ensemble- Chimera Ensemble

Electronics- Shu-Yu Lin

The title for my work came from Gao Xingjian’s (b. 1940) film, Requiem for Beauty, which is a haunting literary-visual hybrid. I chose the English translation of the title because the text materials that the singer delivers are presented in both the original Mandarin Chinese and the English translation by Gilbert C. F. Fong. The vocal part explores the idea of translation as negotiation between languages, and the ensemble as a whole explores the idea of translation between art forms in a more inter-semiotic sense.

Each of the 13 movements, played without a break, presents a different performance possibility for the instrumentalists, vocalist, electronics and actor, moving planes of sonic ‘colour’ through the instrumental groupings from background to mid and foreground and around the performance space. Key concerns in Requiem for Beauty are fluidity and continuity; inspired by the multi-canvas paintings (Triptyque) of Zao Wu-Ki (1921-2013), who fused Chinese and Western painting techniques to create artworks with different canvas materials.

Contemporary extended techniques are used to bring a nuance of absurdism, especially in the vocal part. For example, the exhale and inhale instructions provide a different kind of physicality to Western ‘classical’ singing technique, whilst also paying tribute to pioneers in the field, such as Cathy Berberian and Luciano Berio.

The soprano sings in English and Chinese, and a prior recording by the soprano of a more extended version of the lyrics (also bi-lingual) is used as one of the source materials in the electronics part, as well as live recordings of Clare’s singing during the concert performance, and clarinet recordings by Chiung-Yu Ku. To bring the electronics forward and back, I applied granular synthesis to the vocal part, a technique that allows the composer to chop a sound into samples (the ‘atomic’ level of a sound, or the ‘grain’) and to remold these fragments to create new ones. In some places the instrumentalists echo the density of the grain, while in others they stretch a sound into a long drone. Use of extended contemporary playing techniques further assists the implementation of sound spatialization, akin to a painting.

Requiem for Beauty is a collaborative project with soprano Clare Lesser, commissioned by the 2018 Terry Holmes Composer & Performer Award. 

Link to video recording of the premier (starts at 33:16):

https://youtu.be/-ZPhTJ-714s

Link to score: 

https://issuu.com/shuyulincomposer/docs/requiem_for_beauty_score

Link to scrips for electronics: 

https://github.com/shuyulin/Requiem-for-Beauty

Studies I and II

soprano, piano and electronics

These two studies are sound experiments. They are inspired by the poem “Requiem for Beauty” by Gao Xingjian. The text used in the studies consisted of selected lines from the translated version, by Gilber C. F. Fong, of the poem, except the line ‘gao su wo men!’, which is a transliteration of the Chinese original text ‘告訴我們’, which means ‘tell us’ in English. There is no literal reason for choosing certain lines from the poem. I select them mainly for their potentials to be used as part of the music.

 

Extended vocal techniques, electronics and theatrical elements complement each other. Vocal techniques allow me to explore the sound of the text and use them flexibly. For example, they can be used to go through a few lines very quickly, or elongate a syllable. These elements work with electronics, which is also able to shorten and extend the duration of a sound. The piano plays clusters and is used as ‘reverberation box’, with one speaker aiming into the piano. Electronics diffuses for immersive experience through 8 speakers, with 2 placing on the left and the right of the stage and 6 surrounding the audience. The theatrical elements further reinforce the dramatic nuance. For example, soprano walks to positions in the hall to sing beside the speaker. Multicolor flashlight provides visuals of the movements of the mouth while soprano sings. The three forces, voice, electronics and theatrical elements work together to bring out my interpretation of the poem.

Link to score: 

https://issuu.com/shuyulincomposer/docs/lin_studiesiandii

Link to scrips for electronics: 

https://github.com/shuyulin/studiesIandII

2018

 

A study for flute and electronics

flute and electronics

Premiere: Sept. 27, 2018 Rymer Auditorium, Department of Music, University of York, during its Autumn Postgraduate Forum (2018)

Flutist- Wen Lee, école normale de musique de paris alfred cortot

Electronics- Shu-Yu Lin, currently pursuing PhD in music composition at the University of York

This study explores the interaction between electronics medium and flute. Sometimes flute takes the lead and at other times electronics prevails. Electronics transforms these elements in real-time. Flutist firstly plays the elements, and electronics either record it for later transformation or immediately processed for output through 10 speakers. 

Code for electronics: https://github.com/shuyulin/flEle

2017

 

Synthesis?

11 min

Mono electroacoustic composition

Premiere: Nov. 23rd, 2016 3×3 Electronic Music (collaboration between the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York (the White Rose group of universities)), Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall

In my opinion, one of the roles of technology is to help us humans to carry out increasingly complex jobs in various fields of research. But we tend to forget about the human element in technology. As a composer, I want to make statements through Synthesis?. 
  

This piece made use of single loudspeaker in order to personify a human soloist. This soloist narrates my musical statements through recorded sounds of nature. These were recorded at Navarino Island in Patagonia, Chile, Stanford University and the University of York. Sounds of birdcalls, river, cars, airplanes etc. were placed in the piece to suggest recognizable objects and scenes. Minimal editing was applied on these sounds in order to contrast with recordings that went through several modifications. There are a few moments in the piece where sounds that do not represent any object slowly evolved into something recognizable. This technique was used in order to contrast with the abrupt shifts between minimal treated sounds in the piece. Hence, creating quick and slow pace. The loudspeaker, thus, recites a passage containing my thoughts about the relationship between human beings and technology.

 

 


 

 

2016

 

Möbius Strip

6 min

For Bb clarinet, oboe, saxophones, bassoon, bass clarinet and electronics

Premiered by the Splinter Reeds Quintet of U.S.A. at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustic, Stanford University in January 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

2015

 

Forgotten Voice

(1st version), 2'40''

For clavichord and electronics

 

Delusion

6'25"

For double bass and electronics

Premiere: June 9, CCRMA Stage, Stanford University 

 

Coexistence

6 min

Multichannel 3rd order ambisonic composition for 3D surround systems Funded by the Center for Latin American Studies
Premiere: May 20, 2015 CCRMA Spring Concert “More Bing for Your Buck,” Bing Studio, Stanford University

 

This piece is a part of the project "Field Recording, Composition and Performance for Ecology Conservation in Patagonia, Chile". The aim of this project was to field record in the Patagonia region of Chile, compose a piece of music that incorporate the these recordings and to perform it to the public. Field recording was carried out on Navarino Island, Chile with the assistance from the scientists who work for Sub-Antartic Biocultural Conservation Program. These recordings were edited at Stanford and used as main source of musical elements in the piece Coexistence. It was a multichannel 3rd order ambisonic piece for 3D surround system. Furthermore, the piece was specifically composed for the Stanford Bing Studio where its premire was held. 

 

Live binaural recording at premiere on May 20, 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014

 

Imagery of Five Elements- Water

3 min

a sonification piece for electronics 8 channels
Premiere: Oct 2014 CCRMA Transition annual concert

CCRMA courtyard, Stanford University

 

Wood, fire, earth, metal and water are the five elements of the concept Wu Xing that the traditional chinese used to explain phenomenon such as cosmic cycle. To span on Wu Xing, the composer used planetary data gotten from the Kepler Mission as main source of sonification. Through ChucK programming language, sounds at various frequencies were generated. The composer then used these sounds to compose this piece using Audacity. The planetary orbiting data is the primary data used due to its similarity with "xing" in terms of that orbit gives the notion of a cycle.

 

This piece is the first movement of the work Imagery of Five Elements. The composer chose to begin with the element water due to the order of presentation of the elements in the prelude that was composed. The aim of this movmeent is to depiect various characteristics of water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imagery of Five Elements

5 min

For electronics
Premier: May 2014 CCRMA Spring Concert,

CCRMA Stage, Stanford University 

 

Wood, fire, earth, metal and water are the five elements of the concept Wu Xing that the traditional chinese used to explain phenomenon such as cosmic cycle. To span on Wu Xing, the composer used planetary data gotten from the Kepler Mission as main source of sonification. Through ChucK programming language, sounds at various frequencies were generated. The composer then used these sounds to compose this piece using Audacity. The planetary orbiting data is the primary data used due to its similarity with "xing" in terms of that orbit gives the notion of a cycle.

 

This piece is the prelude of the work Imagery of Five Elements. The composer chose to begin with the element water due to the order of presentation of the elements in the prelude that was composed. The aim of this movmeent is to depiect various characteristics of water.

 

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