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Hear rhythm-space harmony : in multichannel, live, stereo, Nature, multi-lives

Multi-channel or spatialized live concert, Home Cinema

The best way to listen to the rhythm-space harmony and its compositions is the live concert, in multichannel, with musicians precisely placed in a concert hall or in an “Italian” theater which walls can integrate small groups of musicians, or in movie theaters (Dolby Atmos, 5.1 or 7.1). Other spaces can be adapted for this type of composition: for example the concert given in Brasília in January 2020 happened in an open air place, in multi-channel live broadcasted by the composer.

Concerning commercial multichannel recordings, the Dolby 7.1 ou 5.1 system used in Home Cinema gives a fairly good rendering of rhythm-space harmony.

Recordings stereo, binaural

I started making a few stereo versions (2 channels, left-right) optimized during the pandemic, when the live concert planned were suspended. I had tested most of the spatialization programs currently on the market as well as binaural technique programs or even binaural live recording: unfortunately, I didn´t succeed to render correctly the sounds that come from the back. In general, if we perceive the rear sound well, we no longer perceive the front sound well and vice versa, whereas in the reality of a multichannel broadcast, the difference is obvious and essential for the front-rear balance of the composition.

I therefore chose to render the works’ spatial balance by other means, which sometimes do not respect the original spatialization. Certain sounds of these stereos which are normally behind appear forward, and it was necessary to privilege the notion “near-far” rather than “front-behind”. But the sound sources differentiation  in space is satisfactory when you listen to the stereo with headphones, and the pleasure of the balance and of the sound replies that form the rhythm-space harmony can almost be felt, especially in the excerpts from the Symphony-ballet Cenas da Amazônia.

A stereo recording of my music is as different from the original, as a piano reduction is different from the orchestral music. The reduction is able to show the musical structures of a work, but does not represent its orchestral reality. In the same way these stereos show the structure of the works and a left-right balance, but do not represent their spatial reality. And no recording could be compared to the race chase of Jungle, nº3 of Cenas da Amazônia, in live coming from the walls of a theater!

In Nature

The rhythm-space harmony is also perceptible in Nature. In any forest of the world, at dawn or at sunset when many animals are expressing themselves at the same time, everyone can observe this phenomena :

  • By beating time, we perceive at what point the animal sounds are rhythmically precise, as well as their sound “entries” and their silences lengths. It is the natural synchronization of biophonic sounds, the temporal basis of rhythm-space harmony.
  • By visually observing where the animals are placed in relation to each other, we perceive the way in which the spatial balance between the biophonic sound sources is achieved: this is the physical proxemia.
  • By an audiovisual observation, we will perceive how this position in physical space allows each animal to be heard much better in the middle of all the others. If everyone was “speaking at the same time” from the same place, it would be much more difficult to distinguish each sound, and therefore each animal. And if the rhythmic position of the emitted sounds (temporal proxemics) effectively corresponds to the position in space of the animals, then the distinction of each animal in the middle of the others is further optimized.

Our technological multi-lives

Finally, this reflection on our urban and technological multi-lives: we may experience rhythm-space harmony or disharmony on a daily basis, without being aware of it. For example, imagine this 21st century realistic scene : the television on the wall in front of us is discreetly switched on, while the radio plays a song from the left, a person is talking to us sitting on the right of our chair, the sound of the computer is listened from the desk, the message that the phone has just received heard in our left hand and at the same time the little facebook music signals a new message.

This is the complex sound data, very recent and simultaneous that animates our 21st century technological daily life, in the most unconscious rhythm-space harmony or disharmony!