Aeromechanical Imitations (performed by Brooklyn Electronic Ensemble 11/28/12)

maxalpermusic on December 02, 2012 18:43

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    PREFACE


    this piece was written with respect and condolences to the families of the two unnamed deceased who lost their lives on August 10th, 1984 in the forests surrounding Tabernash, Colorado. this piece was in no way conceived with the intention of shocking or offending any audience member. this is a performance study based in the deep listening and observation of the environment surrounding these two men at the time of their untimely deaths. although original sounds from the video have been altered as to hide the men’s respective identities, please be advised that what you are about to view may be more disturbing in concept than it is in content.

    that being said, this piece is meant to illustrate the sheer magnitude of bliss we as human beings can experience in our natural environments. this piece was conceived with the idea that even though performers will be aware of the fate of these two men from the very beginning of the video, the lulling nature of the landscape surrounding the camera and the engine drone and VHS tape hiss crackles has the ability to distract, even transform, one’s state of mind to a place where this ominous ending is replaced by the beautiful and peaceful present.

    although no one can say for sure what these two men were feeling in the six and a half minutes leading up to the crash, there’s a comfort in knowing the purpose and intention of the flight that ended so tragically. these men took off from Denver not for travel, business, or competition, but simply for the love of flying through the beautiful, mountainous terrain that Colorado has to offer. these recreational pilots lived and died doing what they loved, and although every death is a tragedy, there’s something to be learned from every one of these tragedies. it’s something that you simply need to let happen.


    the video of the flight’s last six and a half minutes can be found below:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LzDSq6m2zV4 ;













    FROM THE NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD,
    DECEMBER 14TH, 1992:

    NTSB Identification: DEN84FA308.
    The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 25894.
    Accident occurred Friday, August 10, 1984 in TABERNASH, CO
    Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/14/1992
    Aircraft: CESSNA L-19E, registration: N4584A
    Injuries: 2 Fatal.

    NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

    THE AIRPLANE DEPARTED GRANDBY 8/10/84 AND FAILED TO ARRIVE AT ITS DESTINATION. ON 8/23/87, IT WAS FOUND ON THE SLOPE OF A HIGH TREE-COVERED RIDGE. VIDEO TAPE RECOVERED FROM THE WRECKAGE PROVIDED A VISUAL AND AUDIO RECORD OF THE FLIGHT FROM TAKEOFF TO IMPACT. COMPARING THE RECORDING TO A TOPOGRAPHICAL MAP, THE FLIGHT WAS CLIMBING AND ITS ALTITUDE ABOVE THE GROUND WAS DECREASING WHEN IT CRASHED AT THE 10,200-FT LEVEL. DURING THE LAST FEW SECONDS OF THE TAPE, THE TERRAIN DOMINATED THE VIEW THROUGH THE COCKPIT WINDOW. THE PILOT MADE A 60-DEG BANK, AND THE STALL WARNING HORN COULD BE HEARD 3 TIMES DURING APRX 180 DEG OF TURN. THE AIRPLANE SUBSEQUENTLY STALLED, FLIPPED OVER, AND ENTERED THE TREES. THE DENSITY ALTITUDE WAS ABOUT 13,000 FT.

    The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
    IN-FLIGHT PLANNING/DECISION IMPROPER - PILOT IN COMMAND

    The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
    AIRSPEED NOT MAINTAINED - PILOT IN COMMAND

    Contributing Factors
    WEATHER CONDITION - HIGH DENSITY ALTITUDE

    Contributing Factors
    TERRAIN CONDITION - MOUNTAINOUS/HILLY

    SOURCE: http://www.ntsb.gov/aviationquery/brief.aspx?ev_id=20001214X40670&key=1 ;


    SCORE


    audio and video of footage should be edited so that the pilot’s voices are not heard, as well as to cut out the text intro so as not to distract performers or audience members with thoughts of what’s to happen shortly. exact duration of video should be six minutes and thirty seconds.

    this piece is separated into two ‘machines’ performing their respective parts simultaneously without regards for the other.

    machine I: the mechanical sounds of the plane
    machine II: the mechanical sounds of the disintegrated VHS playback

    performers must decide at the first rehearsal which of the two parts they would rather perform based on their own abilities as improvisers and imitators, as well as the natural range of their instruments.

    both parts are repetitive and, at times, almost static in nature. this means by principle, each performer should grow comfortable with their parts almost immediately when rehearsing so that they don’t distract themselves with the individual notes and embellishments they play, but rather focus on the lulling feeling of the piece as a whole throughout the entire performance.

    the contrast between both parts should be large in mix, allow only common frequency between both machines to be A 440 hz.

    machine I < A 440 hz
    machine II > A 440 hz

    eye contact amongst improvisers is strictly prohibited, even amongst members of the same machine. each performer must stay focused on the projected video for both it’s audio and visuals. try as best you can to tune out the other performers’ sounds and focus strictly on the aspects of your individual instrument that you find attractive aurally. the video playback acts as both foundational sound source as well as conductor.

    end result should be a wash of sound from both parts, not one performer should rise above over the others. each performer is just another part of the engine, just another part of the VCR. both machines should be performed as long as they are presently heard in the video, as one cuts in and out, the performers will follow. both will cut abruptly as the final descent to crash occurs.




    individual instruction on performing both machine parts are as follows:
    MACHINE I: THE MECHANICAL SOUNDS OF THE PLANE

    engine hum has tonal center of roughly an Eb, with slow and gradual glissandi of both an ascending and descending half step surrounding the tonal center. choice of octave is entirely of the individual performer but should be no higher than Eb 4 for all initial repetitions and loops.



    instruments used to create engine hum must use at least one reverb or delay processing unit. feedback should remain at 90% for entirety of piece and delay time should be no lower than 500 ms so each tone made will be sustained consistently.

    the creation of loops is encouraged to encapsulate the timbrel cohesion of the engine. once loops are banked and played back, performers can choose harmonic intervals to perform on top of the original loops so as long as they coincide with the overtones they hear from the engine in the video. there are no wrong notes, just aural interpretations.

    as video reaches the final minute mark, continue loop playback, but begin to imitate engine failure noise through abrupt cuts and returns in volume. performers may also choose to imitate the alert noises heard in the cockpit made by the engine. alert noises should blare over the loops in a much higher octave than previously played, with less focus on tone and more focus on distorted timbre in the higher registers.

    MACHINE II: THE MECHANICAL SOUNDS OF DISINTEGRATED VHS PLAYBACK

    VHS playback has various bright, percussive hisses, crackles, and noises due to three years natural disintegration due to the environmental elements of Colorado forest. use of non-tones versus normal notes is high encouraged, there should be a stark contrast between this machine and the first.

    various effects can be used to create these bright noises, choose any number of the following processors to create your sound:

    - high speed LFO sweeps to create tremolos and tongue flutter type of effects

    - high speed vibratos and glissandi between two closely related non-tones, creating the aural illusion of flimsy tape playback

    - treble heavy, bass isolated distortion with little to no sustain

    - slapback-style delay, with time going no greater than 75 ms and feedback no greater than 40%

    - open envelope filter that never phases back to a close, leaving only the highest of frequencies to be audible


    these bright noises are to remain staccato at all times, so as to contrast highly with the seemingly endless sustain of the first machine.

    various extended techniques can be utilized by acoustic and non-acoustic performers such as:

    - pick scraping above pick-up of electric guitar

    - pulling cord in and out of electrical jack of electric instrument to create harsh popping sounds

    - tongue flutters, vocalizing on ‘CHHCHHCHH’ for winds and vocals

    - stark and abrupt throat noise to be made in upper esophagus for vocals

    - placing microphone or pick-up in front of speaker and quickly moving it back and forth in front of amplifier to make sharp and harsh screeches

    - tapping end of instrument cord quickly and frequently to make bassier popping sounds

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