This work is an exploration of rhythmic speech-sounds, combining constantly changing rhythmic streams into a polyphonic network. The composition employs sounds created and composed with a variety of software tools, including Csound, Max/MSP, SoundHack, and athenaCL. Much use is made of an extension to the athenaCL system employing genetic algorithms in the production of rhythmic variants, as well athenaCL's quadraphonic panning capabilities. Sounds sampled and synthesized with these tools are then composed, mixed, and further processed in a digital audio workstation.
This work, through diverse textural settings, explores polyrhythm and polytexture. The progression of the work is towards greater compartmentalization and polyrhythmic distinction between sound sources. This progression, on some levels, functions as a metaphor of the power relations suggested by both textual quotations (from protests and politics), and the works title (from Max Ernst's 1923 painting of the same name). This title, in turn, is a play on the title of Alfred Jarry's 1896 political and social satire, Ubu Roi.
At the same time, this work is a portrait of New York City. Samples of streets in the Lower East Side, of Grand Central Station, of the 6 train in Union Square, of World Economic Forum protests in Central Park, and of the media chatter of post 11 September politicians all capture a view of the city.
Sounds are composed, processed, and synthesized through various tools including the algorithmic composition system athenaCL. Additional processing and synthesis is done with Csound, Max/MSP, SoundHack, and various other software and hardware.
Christopher Ariza performing live electronics with KIOKU. More information.