elec requirements: CD player/2 E64 digital sampler/5octave keyboard/ZIP cartridge drive/effects processor(Yamaha SPX 990)/4 microphone/mixer/stereo amplifier/4 loudspeakers
Choral score 0571564410 (fp) on sale, electronics available here.
Ashes Dance Back was commissioned for the New London Chamber Choir in memory of Judie Campbell, by her husband, Philip. Ashes Dance Back for choir and electronics uses fragments of text from Andrew Harveys translations of Rumi. Rumis poems of the ecstatic dissolution of the self in the elements of nature are reflected in the metaphor of the choir being mixed electronically with wind, fire and finally healing water. Wind is blown through analysis of choral sound, effected by computer, giving a singing wind, and so on. The pitches of the music are based entirely on a new system of compressed spectra; the choir has to pitch microtones, as cued by the electronics. The title derives from this verse of Rumis: I burn away; laugh; my ashes are alive! I die a thousand times: My ashes dance back - A thousand new faces. First performance in Musica Festival, Strasbourg, by New London Chamber Choir, conducted James Wood, September 27th 1997. Jonathan Harvey