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Schizophonia

Report by Andrew Burke and Nigel Morgan, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, UK

Murray Schafer's powerful word Schizophonia comes from his book The New Soundscape. Schafer says it is a 'nervous' word, describing as it does the strange situation new technology has placed us in, where sound has now parted company from the natural circumstances it once evolved from.

From Shafer's word composer Nigel Morgan has fashioned a 50 minute composition that uses codecs ISDN communications technology to bring together three simultaneous live performances in different locations, creating a fourth virtual performance on the Internet.

The piece addresses fundamental conflicts in the spread of digital communications alongside issues of acoustic ecology. The vocal music makes reference not only to composer R. Murray Schafer's The New Soundscape, but to Sean Cubitt's Digital Aesthetics , the Vocalism poems by Walt Whitman, and Internet-guru Esther Dyson's Release 2.1.

Schizophonia was co-commissioned in 2001 by BBCNOW and the ILIOS Festival in Norway for the 10th anniversary of the ILIOS Festival. It was performed in January 2002 by the Tromsø String Orchestra in Tromsø, the FMHK wind band in Harstad, and singers from Det Norske Solistkor in Oslo. The performance was led in each location by soloists from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and co-ordinated in Harstad by the composer.


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Nigel Morgan, Prudential Buildings, 55 Westgate, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF1 1BW, United Kingdom Tel: 01924 383017 e-mail: tonalitysystems@mac.com

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