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Vox 5 (1979 1986) By Trevor Wishart

1194 words - 5 pages

VOX Cycle
The VOX 5 is part of the VOX Cycle composed by Trevor Wishart between 1979 and 1988. The six independent movements of the VOX Cycle were written for four amplified voices (soprano, tenor, mezzo and bass) and electroacoustic music (in some VOXs he uses both amplified voices and electroacoustic music, in others he uses only one source). The cycle explores the aspects of what it means to be a human being and uses the voice, with various extended techniques, as the main instrument. The cycle has a storyline behind each movement, or each VOX. VOX 1 explores the creation of the world, using various creation myths from different cultures around the world; VOX 2 is a sort of an ode to the beauty of the natural world; VOX 3 an exploration of the intellectual wonders of the civilizations; VOX 4 a disintegration of the human society and organization; VOX 5 a voice of Shiva, the lord of the cosmic dance, that destroys and recreates the world; And VOX 6 a dance-finale with a morph of the profane (pop) and satire, a celebration of the whole cycle.
In my first approach to I felt that if the cycle where to be a film the VOX 1 to the VOX 5 would work as an introduction of the plot, development of the story line and then in VOX 5 a resolution of the film, destroying the plot, characters and space to then recreate a fresh start. And then you have the VOX 6, which would have the function, as a feel good music, to accompany the credits, and bloopers of the film. There is a great difference, in style, rhythm, sound samples, between VOX 6 and the other VOXs of the cycle. But the more I looked into, the more I suspect that maybe this VOX 6 is more of a successful attempted to get pop music into Radio 3, as this last VOX was commissioned by the Radio 3 for a late-night Prom of the full cycle sung by the Electric Phoenix. Maybe this VOX 6 is more of a satire sonic track.

Trevor Wishart
Trevor Wishart is a British composer, born on the 11th of October 1946 in Leeds, currently based in York. He has been contributing, significantly, in composition with digital audio media with different modes of interface (both fixed and interactive). His composition interests are mainly around the human voice (with extended vocal techniques) and about the transformation of it and mixing or morphing it with other sounds from different sources. And he is also a voice performer using extended vocal techniques; he uses his voice for some of his own composition in electroacoustic pieces, like in VOX 5.

The VOX 5 was commissioned by IRCAM in 1979/1980 and was only realized in 1986, because of some hardware issue at IRCAM. It is an entirely electro-acoustic piece.
The piece has a voice at the front centre of the spatial placement, this voice, or part of it transforms into single events that resemble natural sounds, like: crowds, wind, seagulls and other sounds from nature. The intention of the composer seems to recreate the myth of Shiva, a lord of cosmic dance, which uses...

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