Three Summers Heat
About this work:
Three Summers Heat , for Mezzo or Soprano and Electronic Playback, was commissioned by the Barlow Foundation for the Sistrum Ensemble. It was inspired by the sultry poetry of Tzu Weh, a fifth century Chinese poet. Her images of summer and of the stages of romantic relationships are brief but telling. Each of the seven poems focuses on a particular mood which I have tried to amplify through the shape of the vocal line, the development of particular electronic timbres, and the relationship between the two. The third song, for example, sings of rowing a boat on Rose Hibiscus Lake on a hot summer day. The electronic accompaniment shimmers like a mirage, with occasional sonic drops splashing into the pool.
The electronic portion of Three Summers Heat was created at the Virginia Center for Computer Music at the University of Virginia in 1988-89. It was generated using a MIDI-based system controlled by the HMSL Computer music language. The MIDI devices include a Yamaha TX-802 synthesizer, Roland S-550 sampler, DEP5 effects processor and Alesis MIDIVERB II. The sampled Chinese texts were recited by University of Virginia Professor Anne Kinney and the English by singer Marilyn Boyd DeReggi.
The singer is advised to perform with a microphone with the amplitude set to discretely balance the tape. Slight reverb may be added so that the world of the singer and electronics are continuous. The English translations, by Lenore Mayhew and William McNaughton, are used with permission from the Charles E. Tuttle Company.
Ensemble type: Electronic Instruments and Sound Sources:Prerecorded Sound and Live Instrument(s)
Instrumentation: 1 Mezzo-Soprano, 1 Prerecorded Sound (Tape/CD/Other)