TWELVE TONE PUPPIES (1995)

for soprano saxophone and 8-channel tape-music

In the beginning of June 1995 my she-dog Gina gave birth to eleven puppies. My wife and I videotaped this wonderful event and in the following days and weeks I began to record the puppie´s squeaks, screams and sucking-noises on my portable DAT-recorder and it became clear to me that I had to make a piece out of those wonderful, enchanting sounds, something I had never heard before. So within the next few weeks until the puppies left our house I gathered about an hour of raw-material which I used as a starting point for my composition.

I invented a form-scheme in which each puppy got it´s own section, selected the most interesting parts of the raw-material and bounced them to an eight track digital tapedeck which I linked with a computer-sequencer in order to dub each tone generated by the puppies with electronic sounds. As those cute little beings did not only sing but also generated a lot of rhythmical sequnces I accompanied those rhythms with drumsamples and noise-sounds.

The principal of my form-scheme suggested to built a pyramid of soundlayers increasingly alienated by the transposition of the puppy-sounds so that towards the end of the piece all eleven parts would be audible in different ranges at the same time. Unfortunately it all ends a little sad because one of the puppies was run over by a car shortly after we had given it away to a family.

During the compositional process I realized that most of the melodies sung by the little dogs were in the range of my sopranosax and so I decided to play along with the main voices and turn the whole piece into a duo for sax and electronic music.

The experience I made composing this work has changed my way of hearing and I have become even more aware of all the sounds that surround us in our daily lifes.

 

MP3 TWELVE TONE PUPPIES (electronic music only)