Aural Histories


Aural Histories

  • Release date: 2012-10-01
  • Label: Deep Listening
  • Catalog #: DL 45-2012

Listed in Alex Ross’ 10 Notable Classical Music Recordings of 2012

Aural Histories is a compilation of works for voice and electronics. None have lyrics, but they all have stories. Some are improvisations recorded in one take with live sampling and audio processing in real-time; others are electronic compositions with varying degrees of vocal improvisation; and still others are through composed electronic works. A Flat Ground, A Summons and Circadian Singing were all single-take improvisations using the voice alone as sound source. The other works contain pre-recorded and processed sounds of machines and electronic equipment, from coffee machines and microwaves to incubators and antique motors. Several of the works were originally created for dance: Gameplay was created for Katharina Vogel’s Proud to be here; Digital Surveillance was a movement from the score for Carrie Ahern’s RED; and Extreme Weather and Narco Kyrie were two movements from a score commissioned by Pennsylvania Dance Theatre for Jill Sigman’s Fowl Play. In addition, an excerpt from Nightcall comprises the soundtrack for Papoose, an experimental dance video by Jill Sigman. Some of the pre-recorded sounds in these works were recorded at unusual sites. The radios heard in Nightcall were recorded in Michoacán, Mexico, while I was on an artist residency at the Guapamacátaro Center for Art and Ecology, and the faint tune in the second half of Narco Kyrie is my rendition of the German Christmas Carol Maria Durch Ein Dornwald Ging, recorded at the top of an indoor waterfall in a corporate office park in Pennsylvania. Circadian Singing was my tip of the hat to Joan La Barbara. An exercise in vocalizing both on the exhale and on the inhale throughout the entire piece, it explores the differences between the lighter externalized sounds and the darker, more difficult internalized sounds. 13 Inspirations is a new work built on the foundations of a movement from my score for RED, and it is another meditation on breath. (The average adult’s rate of breathing at rest is 10-18 breaths per minute. Mine is 13. The distressed breathing of the infant in the recording is significantly faster.) These works are explorations of voice and machinery, the human and the industrial, and a small selection of the infinite number of sounds in our world that have captivated me. – Kristin Norderval

Track listing (10)

1. A Flat Ground
2. Gameplay
3. Glass and Mirrors
4. Digital Surveillance
5. 13 Inspirations
6. A Summons
7. Extreme Weather
8. Narco Kyrie
9. Nightcall
10. Circadian Singing


Reviews: Melinda Bargreen-ClassicalKingFMThe Sound Projector Music Magazine & radio showScaruffi.comPsychedelicfolk.comVitalweekly.net2012 in Review: The new classical extremityOperavore’s 2012 Gift guide “a mesmerizing program of works for voice and laptop by the composer and avant-garde diva Kristin Norderval.”


ganxy Amazon