Switched on

Manuella Blackburn

Switched on has been performed in Athens, Bangor, Brussels, Helsinki, Linz, Ljubljana, Manchester, Melinka, Montréal, Oslo, Santiago, Seoul, Sheffield, Trebel, Troy, Utrecht and Valdivia…

This piece began by exploring the sounds of switches, dials and buttons collected from my home and place of work. A particularly interesting sound was sourced from turning on an old TV, which ignited a series of high frequency pitches and crackling static flutters before eventually powering on. Lower transpositions of this sound revealed a usually inaudible collection of electronic-like frequencies that feature throughout the work. Together with this the switch sounds, being very short in duration, are clustered into intricate groupings, cascades and explosive flourishes. In addition to these aspects, I was particularly drawn to the concepts of inanimate object powering up from moments of inactivity, and surging electricity running and humming through circuitry.

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Switched on was realized in 2011 at Liverpool Hope University (UK) and completed at the EMS (Stockholm, Sweden) and premiered on June 10, 2011 during the MANTIS “Sonic Meta-Ontology 2” Festival at The University of Manchester (UK). Thanks to Lynn Holland and David Lewis for their help and extensive switch hunting in the Art Department of Liverpool Hope University (UK), and Andrew Hall for his valued sound contribution. Switched on was finalist for the Gaudeamus Prize 2012, and was awarded the First Prize at the 7th Biennial Acousmatic Composition Competition, Métamorphoses 2012 (Ohain, Belgium).

Premiere

  • June 10, 2011, MANTIS Festival: Manchester’s Sonic Meta-Ontology, 1: Concert, Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall — Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama — The University of Manchester, Manchester (England, UK)

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