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Pacific Sirens by Robert Erickson

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Item Type: Sound Recording Duration: 14 min
Event Type: Music Program Origin: KPFA

“Pacific Sirens” by Robert Erickson, performed by the University of California at San Diego Players in June of 1969. The work is an aleatoric electro-acoustic composition scored for flute, clarinets, horn, trumpet, trombone, percussion, viola, violoncello, double bass, and tape. Beginning with electronically altered wind and surf sounds from the Pacific coast, the work gradually develops as groups of instruments introduce long, sustaining, and overlapping pitches that flawlessly match the windswept beach recordings. Occasionally instruments make more pronounced solo excursions that grab one’s attention, similar to the way the sound of sea gull may temporarily lift one’s gaze from the rolling breakers. Calm and meditative, without ever becoming boring, this subtle work of restrained playing and masterful use of ambient sounds and electronic wizardry is indeed a siren’s call to a more idyllic time and place.

Musical Selections:  Pacific Sirens, for instrumental ensemble (1969) (13:37) / Robert Erickson
Performers:  University of California at San Diego Players
Genres:  20th Century Classical; Electro-Acoustic / Electronic
Subject:  20th century classical; Instrumental ensembles; Aleatory music; Electro-acoustic; Electronic music
People:  Erickson, Robert, 1917-1997
 
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