Siren Song (soprano, fixed media)
score, parts, fixed media: stereo --CD, AIFF, MP3
written for: Rachel Holland
Longleaf Catalog Number: 2985
Siren Song is a work for soprano and electronics. The electronic sounds are largely created from recordings of soprano Rachel Holland, for whom the work was composed. It recreates the Song of the Sirens from Greek mythology, luring sailors with their seductive voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island. Odysseus, in his wanderings through the Mediterranean, came near the island. On the advice of Circe, he stuffed the ears of his companions with wax, and tied himself to the mast of his vessel, until he was far away and no longer could hear their song. The vocal recordings are manipulated through a variety of processes to construct the “sound world” for the composition. Certain partials were extracted to create new sung vowels, rich textures (or fields) of voices, and water-like sounds to accompany the live siren. This interchange creates a balancing effect between light and dark (major and minor musical intervals). The positioning of the vocalist on stage and her movement during the performance enhances this effect. The piece ends with electronic raindrops that began life as vocal notes.