Hiver au bord du lac (Winter by the lake)

Submission of a sound piece to Prix Ars Electronica

This piece is composed of three movements evoking season changes by a body of water.

Excerpts

An excerpt of each movement has been compiled here:

Excerpts in mp3 format:

Hiver au bord du lac (soundcloud)

Hiver au bord du lac (mp3)

1- A l’orée de l’hiver (on the verge of winter)


2- Brume givrante (frosting mist)


3- Dégel ruissellant (streaming thaw)

This piece is composed of three movements evoking season changes by a body of water, from late autumn, to the heart of winter and back to the early spring thaw.

The titles are:
« Hiver au bord du lac »
1- à l’orée de l’hiver
2- brume givrante
3- dégel ruisselant

This can be translated from French as:
« Winter by the lake »
1- on the verge of winter
2- frosting mist
3- streaming thaw

The piece describes the transformation of nature and water using only abstract sounds, with no actual recordings of real nature sounds. The distribution of frequencies, temporal and spectral density, the continuous evolution of spectral masses and the inclusion of sounds with distinct attacks is used to evoke the fleeting atmosphere sensations but not to describe actual actions.

I have been developing a tool for sound synthesis to create this piece, a Max/MSP patch that includes different techniques of subtractive synthesis and other spectral processing. This tool has been evolving to obtain and explore the sounds and their distribution in time and spectrum, and has become an intrinsic part of the composition process, not only to obtain specific timbres but also to make them evolve, to «compose» them actually. Especial care has been dedicated to obtain «watery» timbres and a sensation of flowing liquid energy evolution.

Spatial distribution of the sounds also forms part of the composition language, to enhance the feeling of flowing and also of immersion in a deep environment. The version proposed here is a (binaural) stereo rendering of a multichannel version.