Patrick Nunn (b. 1969)
For piano, percussion and pulsars (2-channel CD or 4-channel electronics)
Duration: c.6 mins.
The title comes from the Greek iso (equal) and chronos (time) and refers, in this context, to the regular periods of electromagnetic radiation that is emitted from rotating neutron stars known as Pulsars. This beam of radiation can be detected on earth (similarly to the beam emitted from a lighthouse) with observed periods ranging from 1.4 milliseconds to 8.5 seconds. When translated into audio signals, these pulses produce a gamut of sounds from regularly spaced clicks to audible tones.
Isochronous explores a sonic environment created from scientific recordings of these pulsars in a confluent dialogue with percussive and piano sounds; the live musicians acting out a terrestrial ‘response’ as it were. Although the two elements of recordings and live material are intended to blend sonically, they are marked apart by their regular and irregular characteristics; each pulsar is fixed and regular in tone or tempi (extraterrestrial) whereas the percussion and piano material is imbued with a greater sense of irregularity and independence (terrestrial).
The listener is encouraged to close their eyes during the performance to fully experience the sounds without visual distraction.
© Patrick Nunn 2010