Passades – Volume 2

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Working with the creative possibilities of music software which captures sounds like a freeze-frame in video or DVD, making sound movement stop, or go forwards or backwards slowly, I began composing the Passades in early 2002. A Passade is an equestrian term meaning to move backwards and forwards over the same space.

Seeing great possibilities of exploring this technique in detail, I continued to work on the Passades until there were 3 hours of them spread over 3 volumes, culminating in the The Ninth Set in 2007.
The process has been to try to find connections between them even as they proliferated.
The technique involved real-time eye to ear to hand (on the mouse) co-ordination and each ‘take’ was recorded. The mouse manipulations felt like an aural form of calligraphy in that there were good takes and bad takes and the chance that a a good take might go wrong.
Takes were layered and crossfaded to produce these ‘sets’.
The software sought an external sound source to ‘freeze’ and I used my own earlier compositions for this and was amazed that the frozen versions (usually a microsecond at a time) rarely sounded like the originals from which they came.
During the time I worked on the Passades I began to experience the feeling that there was another kind of Passade at work in the music, in tandem with the technical one – one with a time dimension. There is an ancient voice in this music which seems to travel through the present into the future, then back again into the past.