After focusing exclusively for the past few years on the composition of works for instruments and live
electronic processing, Louis Dufort returns to his acousmatic origins with Hi-Res, now enhanced by a
multichannel system. Though exclusively acousmatic, Hi-Res is undoubtedly informed by the experience
the composer acquired while working with traditional orchestral instruments: indeed, in the blending of
timbres from classical instruments with those produced via electronic synthesis is manifested a deep
desire to achieve an intimate fusion between both types of sonorities.
In contrast to so-called “mixed” works, in which an acousmatic soundtrack and a performative discourse
are pitted against each other, all the sonorities in Hi-Res will exist on the same plane, with the same
degree of abstraction: the fact that these sonorities will be emanating solely from loudspeakers instead of
instrumental performers will grant them equal status as acoustic objects. This is why a kind of
homogeneity can be envisaged, arising from the friction of the two highly contrasting sound sources at
play here: freed from their respective connotative networks, they will now be able to share the same
perceptual and narrative context. This work will therefore explore how a unity of meaning can be applied
to sound objects which are themselves diverse in nature: while preserving their unique qualities, these
timbres will be simultaneously fused into a shared sonic construction. Indeed, though the listener’s ear
will still be able to distinguish timbral differences, it will end up merging them as they contribute towards
an overriding unity of discourse, rather than dwelling on their individually distinct material qualities.
Beyond this democratic advantage lies another, more practical advantage: without the presence of the
performer, it is possible to extend traditional instrumental limits well beyond the pale of practicability.
The fact that Hi-Res is predicated on such a fusion, indicates that its sound world will be correspondingly
dense, plunging the listener into a space situated halfway between the real and the virtual. Moreover, the
uniqueness of the listener’s experience will be amplified in the context of a real physical immersion.
Special thanks to Darren Copeland for letting me sample his voice…
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