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Additional resources for Alternative Voices: Essays on Contemporary Vocal and Choral Composition
This spirit has affected composition for the human voice. The result is a repertoire of remarkable, not to say bewildering, diversity. One is spurred on to try to identify the multitude of vocal techniques and devices used and is challenged by the numerous other new structural features found in these works. One asks: Why do composers compose this way? What does this pseudo-language sample mean? Why use such extremities of expression? What is the place of marginal sounds in a musical work? Why did the composer destroy his text?
J. Whitrow notes: 'Our conscious awareness of time depends on the fact that our minds operate by successive acts of attention', in particular, it is influenced by the tempo of our attention. This tempo depends both on the subject matter attended to and our own physical and mental condition, including our memory and expectation' (Whitrow 1961: 72). It is useful to reduce this profusion of affects to more general categories. 1 (continued) m X Cû 3 "H. o> î° rT O D 3' c CD CL 31 Berio's Sequenza III 6 text-use (rearrangement of the text; the various levels of coherence; the intelligibility achieved) 7 psycholinguistic connotations (including terms for denoting psychopathological phenomena in the use of language and in oral behaviour, implied psychopathological conditions, 'normal' psychic phenomena, and paralinguistic phenomena [English and English 1958; Trager 1958; Robbins 1963; and Vetter 1970]).
We shall observe the persistence, or ephemerality, of these components. The third entry, that of the soprano, follows in measure 4 with an even shorter delay: about two and a half seconds. This double utterance has the novel feature of repetition of components of two earlier utterances. It indicates a careful attention paid to the two preceding signals and suggests caution (note the dynamics), empathy, introjection, learning, and/or agreement. The soprano begins signalling with pitch-vowel couples initiated by (belonging to or characteristic of) the two other singers.
Alternative Voices: Essays on Contemporary Vocal and Choral Composition by Istvan Anhalt