As in Paradigma, the structure of Stimmlich (concerning the voice) is the result of an abstract score in which the pitches and entry delays of the individual sounds were defined beforehand. In this score, the musical material is projected on a time axis from a ‘main level’, towards three ‘repetition levels’, at which the same material appears in a transformed way. These transformations are based on synthesis variants of the original sounds. The distances in time between the ‘originals’ and their transformed ‘repetitions’ are derived from a series that contains both positive and negative values. The negative values are interpreted as negative time vectors, in which case the transformed repetition of a sound appears earlier than its original.

Whereas in Paradigma the orginal sounds are abstract, in Stimmlich, single words of five sentences from letters written by the Austrian poet Georg Trakl (1887–1914) were set to pitch and used as the starting material. On the ‘main level’, the single pitches and chords were derived from a twelve-tone series. The pitches on the other levels originate from this row, but form new intervals as their order in time is different.

The voice material was recorded in collaboration with the singer Anne Wellmer. Where chords were written, she sang the separate notes one by one, to be combined later through editing. The same text was also recorded spoken and whispered.

According to the schemes as described previously, pairs of sounds from different transformation categories (including the untransformed material) were linked to time values determining the distance between each pair’s components. On a higher level, these sound pairs were systematically combined into sections. These sections again were overlapped to create the final form of the piece.

Stimmlich was commissioned by the Fonds voor de Scheppende Toonkunst.

year: 1995
duration: 19:35
tracks: 8

play an excerpt from Stimmlich