“(Dis)located Spaces” is a 2014 piece by Rob Canning for organ and electronics. It’s composed for eight channels, and is heard here in a performance by Lauren Redhead on “organ, recorders, voice, harmonica,” with “electronics” performed by Canning himself. It was taped on November 1, 2014, at the di_stanze festival in Leeds, England. The piece puts a delicately shrill organ lead amid and above a range of ancillary sounds, from haunting vocalizations to sudden, momentary keyboard trills. Often several of these elements overlap, yet the one true constant is this strong, forcefully held organ motif, like an extended pause in a Philip Glass piece, or a knowing, sideways glance at something by Olivier Messiaen. These additional materials generally deepen the root chord, adding to it rather than contrasting with it. No doubt the effect is all the more detailed and disorienting at the center of an eight-channel installation, but even in mere stereo it is mesmerizing.
Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/laurenredhead. More from Canning at rob.kiben.net. More from Lauren Redhead at laurenredhead.eu, and at the website of Canterbury Christ Church University, where she is a lecturer in the School of Music and Performing Arts (among her areas of current research are organ and electronics, digital opera, and the aesthetics of atonality). More on the di_stanze festival at distanze.org. Full program from the performance at distanzeleeds.wordpress.com.