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Leaked Tape from the Sacred Mysteries

for piano trio

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Estimated Duration
6 - 10min

ISMN : 979-0-2325-4471-7

Notes on this piece

Leaked Tape from the Sacred Mysteries is the precursor to a larger ensemble piece, A Night of Music in the Uncanny Valley, in which a fictional ritual is enacted by beings who can be described as "almost human, but not quite". These entities are trapped on the thin line between human and non-human, and their rituals are meant as a way of embracing this existential duality. As its title suggests, Leaked Tape from the Sacred Mysteries was written as if it is a secret recording taken during one of these aforementioned rituals.


Much like the residents of the Uncanny Valley, the piece itself also possesses both "human" and "non-human" qualities. The composed material is derived from the spectral analyses of the Narrator’s voice from A Night of Music in the Uncanny Valley. Consequently, certain fragments of the piece are also made to sound organic like speech. By taking the phonetic qualities of the source material as a reference, I intended to create a blend between the human voice and the instruments. In contrast to this "human" aspect, other parts of the piece are structured in a more organized, "inorganic" manner. In these sections, the temporalities are stretched out and the textural and modal qualities of the source material are brought forward. This deliberate manipulation of the source material is intended to underline the new, artificial shape that it is now given. The back and forth transitions and superpositions of the "human" and "non-human" sections are meant to guide the listener towards a state where they might not be able to clearly distinguish the difference anymore. I see this uncertainty to be an essential ingredient in achieving the uncanniness which I wish to evoke in this piece.

Performed by Ensemble X-

Ellen Jewett - Violin
Elizabeth Simkin - Violoncello
Xak Bjerken - Piano

Turkish Premiere - August 2018
Score Details
Format - A4 / US Letter
Pages - 34

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