News From Afar (for chamber ensembles with news broadcasts transformed) with music by David Evan Jones, was released in September 2016 by Centaur Records. Listening links on YouTube can be found here. Distributor Archiv Music is handling sales of this CD.
Excerpt from Yeonpyeong Island:
News from Afar presents five compositions (2010-2015) by David Evan Jones (b. 1946) all of which integrate computer processed news broadcasts with instruments performing live. These pieces transform reports of the difficult news of our day and bring them into the contemplative frame of the concert hall.
Each piece refers to a recent news event with local and international significance: the seminal 2013 Gezi Park demonstrations in Istanbul, the massive 2011 Tsedek Chevrati (“social justice”) demonstrations in Israel, the 2010 attack by North Korea on South Korea’s Yeonpyeong Island, the ongoing protests over the construction of a naval base on South Korea’s Jeju Island... Each broadcast is in the language of the country in which the event occurred. In performance (and in the videos listed just above) translations are projected as supertitles.
The news broadcasts were selected for their content and with close attention to voice qualities, speech rhythms, and intonation contours of the speakers. The broadcast voices were slowed (time-stretched) and gently stabilized into intelligible pitches in a way that generally preserved the original intonation contours. The stretched speech rhythms were edited somewhat so as to correspond occasionally to points of rhythmic emphasis.
As with most text-setting, the news broadcasts and the music imply interacting narratives. What makes the current project unique is the unification of these two elements by means of the detailed integration of speech rhythms and pitch intonations from “found audio” with the melodic/harmonic/rhythmic structures of the music.
Works on This Recording
Performer: Leighton Fong (Cello), Paul Miller (Clarinet), David A. Wells (Bassoon),
Anna Presler (Violin), Kirsten Smith (Piano)
Conductor: Daniel Kennedy
Performer: Axel Strauss (Violin), Jean-Michel Fonteneau (Cello)