分音, 2018

8-channel Sound
Commissioned by Contemporary Musiking Hong Kong

Inspired by the composition techniques in electroacoustic music, such as additive synthesis and spectrum analysis, the piece Partials is a realization of those techniques in a multi-channel sound context.

The 8 speakers serve as 8 sine wave generators that produce sine wave tones in specific frequency relationship. When the frequencies are played together, a complex tone rather than separate tones is perceivable by listeners, as a result of additive synthesis. Meanwhile, controlling the dynamics of each speaker is like controlling each partial of the complex tone, which is not only affecting the volume of it but its timbre as well. In a multi-channel setting, any subtle manipulation of partials is being articulated and exaggerated, making the change in timbre more perceivable. I hope the slow modulation of timbre in Partials would have a sculptural property that could be experienced over a fixed time duration.