They Lived. – for mezzo soprano and electronics

They Lived. – Performed by Leanny Muñoz and Joseph Vasinda

Text by Carl Sandburg:

Why did he write to her,
“I can’t live without you”?
And why did she write to him,
“I can’t live without you”?
For he went west, she went east,
And they both lived.

They Lived. is part of a series of collaborations between Leanny Muñoz and me. This piece, in particular, draws on the text “One Parting” by Carl Sandburg, which forms the program of the piece as well. Throughout the piece, there is a vocal line with short phrases each sung with varying levels of breath in the tone. The noisiness of the voice is mirrored in the electronics parts. At the very beginning of the piece, there is a white noise patch which I then apply a formant filter to in order to mimic the vowel sounds of the singer. But the contrast between these two layers is stark. There is very obviously an acoustic singer and an electronics layer on top of her, so I used a granular synthesizer in order to bridge the gap between the two, leading to some acoustic vocals that sound processed and some electronic sounds that sound acoustic.

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