Pacific Tubular Waves / Immersion cover art

REGRM 014 / Michel Redolfi

Pacific Tubular Waves / Immersion

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Pacific Tubular Waves,1979 (24'25)
- Inner Tube
- Crystal Lips
- A Smooth Ride
- Pacific Motion
- The Underwater Park at Sunset

Inspired by the oceanic horizons of San Diego, this work was created one year before the start of my research on underwater sound. It does not yet evokes the substance of the depths but is focused on the kinetics of the Pacific breakers. The first four movements frame different visions of the energy delivered by the rolling waves as a kind of auditory surfing on the crest and into the trough of the wave (movements 1-3), followed by a high speed crossing within the tubular cyclone (4). The piece ends with easing waves at dusk. The quadraphonic concert version is designed to surround the listeners and take them through a dynamic spatialisation, a kind of "ride" with furtive sounds, impacts and a vortex creating a sonic cinema with great relief scapes. In terms of the making, Pacific Tubular Waves, is a purely electronic music, a solo performance on the first digital Synclavier synthesizer.
The flexibility of its touch keys enabled me to intuitively program a sonic organic life quality with a concrete quality. Here the computer was used to magnify the texture and behavior of the oceanic material though never mimicking it.

Immersion, 1980 (24'43)
- Surface
- Partial Immersion
- Deep Immersion
- Total Immersion

This work dates back to my Californian period (1977-1983) when I started a number of projects attempting to musically translate my discovery of the Pacific; from the movement of its rolling waves to its depths (particularly in this piece). Composing Immersion started with underwater recordings using a hydrophone. After recording the shifting sands and the rolling pebbles under the breakers, I came up with the idea of dipping a sonar loudspeaker underwater to diffuse my Pacific Tubular Waves piece (made the previous year) below the surface. The music was thus shuffled by the waves and unexpected filtering effects resulted from its passing through clouds of foam. Its dispersion at sea by currents would send back incredibly smooth harmonic echoes. A new submarine soundscape was thus being outlined. The recording of this natural remixing process is the guiding thread of the piece. It is interspersed with sequences composed in the studio with the Synclavier. Alternating dry/wet, for a gradual immersion through increasingly calm and dense increments. A few months later, in 1981, in the ocean reserve of La Jolla Cove, my Sonic Waters installation invited listeners to directly experience music underwater, thanks to a powerful immersed sound system that resonated through the body. The underwater concert was born; Immersion had been its aesthetic trigger and technical prototype.