1st performance: Mercer Union, Toronto, 1982
Speaker Swinging grew out of a desire to animate the typical electronic music concert and in effect, to realise the loudspeaker as a valid electronic music instrument in itself.
The rotary speaker motion and the corresponding Doppler shifts can become metaphors for the molecular movements of electrons that occur within solid state tremolo and vibrato circuits. It mimics these miniature processes that not long ago were modeled on human-scale mechanical-acoustic systems.
By making reference to the atomic, it necessarily acknowledges the celestial.
Speaker Swinging was first inspired by hearing Trans Am automobiles cruising on a hot summer night with Heavy Metal blaring out of the windows. As the cars cruised by, there was that fleeting moment of wet, fluid music, when one tonality melts into another.
First performed in 1982, this piece uses 9 sine/square wave oscillators broadcast over 3 loudspeakers that are swung in circles by 3 performers. This video was produced in 1987 and is edited to just over 7 minutes, while a live performance of the piece lasts approximately 25 minutes.
©Gordon Monahan 1982
Electric string quartetThirteen images from the dark land
Things were turned upside down. There were terifying things in the air… they found their way into Black Angels.