Kyriakides, Yannis

Yannis Kyriakides was born in Limassol, Cyprus in 1969, emigrated to Britain in 1975, and has been living in the Netherlands since 1992. He currently lives in Amsterdam with his ...

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Telegraphic : for ensemble and live electronics / Yannis Kyriakides

Publisher's number: 15482
Genre: Electronical music
Subgenre: Gemengd ensemble (2-12 spelers) met elektronica
Instruments: fl cl-b, trb keyb vc db tape
Remarks: [071]
Duration: 20'00"
Year of composition: 2007
Status: fully digitized (real-time delivery)

Program Note: Codes and encryption as a paradigm for music is something that I have been interested in since I was inspired by the number station phenomenon to compose ‘a conSPIracy cantata’ in 1999. I am fascinated by the spectrum of how music could function on one level the way language might work or even how words could be encoded into music for the sake of economical or clandestine communication. Does music encode or decode ? The question as to whether music is a language or not is also interesting and I came to a conclusion that it can be, if we want meaning, but that meaning is vague and wrapped in emotional clingfilm.
A few years ago I became interested in telegraphic codebooks. This forms the main reference point in some works I was writing at the time, ‘The Queen is the Supreme Power in the Realm’ and ‘Simplex’ .These codebooks flourished at the height of the industrial revolution, and were mostly a means for sending shorter, cheaper telegrams by substituting single words or numbers for commonly used phrases. Economy of language opened up the possibility of a faster means of communication.
This piece is based on the physical apparatus of telegraphy. It could be an ‘in memoriam’ to telegraphy, which officially came to and end in 2006 at the time I was writing the piece. The six instruments play constantly fluctuating drones through close microphones routed into a mixing desk, where their amplification is gated by telegraph keys, one for each instrument/channel. The keys are inserted at the channel insert and they gate the sound of the channels when depressed. In crude terms it’s like switching the instruments on and off as they are playing. This creates interesting melodic lines from the harmonic flux they are derived from.
The piece was originally written for the combined forces of Champ D’Action (BE) and Percussion Group Den Haag (NL) and performed at the Singel in Antwerp in 2007.
Yannis Kyriakides

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