Musica Ficta | 2018
for five performers with live electronics

Musica Ficta is a meditation on dreams, communication, and fear.

The first version was premiered by tick tock (Sasha Amaya and Naomi Woo), Alex Taylor, Celeste Oram, and myself at the 2018 Darmstadt Summer Course for New Music.

Sci-fi films created during the 1950’s-era cold war are filled with analog electronic sounds that draw on sounds of alarm (emergency drills, air raid sirens) to create chilling and otherworldly soundscapes. I find these sounds, used both musically and encountered (such as the tornado sirens where I grew up), to contain an intrinsic beauty. Some sound effects can appear as creatures speaking or singing, or ephemeral moments of attempted communication.

In Musica Ficta, five performers participate playfully in a universe of extraterrestrial chatter, old film dialogue, sirens, and snippets of music. Chosen samples are improvisatorily remixed with a sampler to feel out resonances and tensions between materials.