for flute and electroacoustic sound
Composer: Christopher Hopkins
The Animus Winds is a composition for flute and electroacoustic sound. Thematically, the composition explores an opposition of two perceptions: the sensual experience of wind against a personification of wind as a supernatural force. The electroacoustic sound recolors and reshapes recordings of wind and flutes, such that flutes take on characteristics of the wind, and wind takes on both musical and vocal qualities. There is also a dramatic schema, in which the flute takes the role of a person who is at times drawn into the natural spirit of the wind, and at other times strongly confronts its more hostile animus.
The flute is normally amplified into on-stage speakers not used for the audio files, using reverberation in a live mix indicated by the score. The electroacoustic sound is performed from cues to start playback of quadraphonic sound files, and mixed into a quadrilateral speaker setup surrounding the audience. An alternate stereo version is available.
The choice of software to perform the audio cues is up to the performer. Playback of the audio files must allow overlap, where one audio file can begin as the previous finishes. No more than two layers are required. There is a simple Max patch supplied for performance and rehearsal. An additional patch is supplied for an individual alone to practice in stereo with selection of a MIDI controller input to advance cues. These patches have been tested for Max 5 or later.
Instrumentation and Required Personnel
The current version (2009) is for C flute, although the original version (2006) was for alto flute and an opportunity to remix the electroacoustic sound with a new performance on this lower flute would be welcome.
Assistant to perform audio cues. For concert performance the use of a footswitch by the flutist can detract from the drama of the work, so the audio files are best performed by an offstage assistant (often from the sound reinforcement console). The person performing cues should be able to read a musical score and take visual and aural cues from the flutist.