Panayiotis Kokoras (1974)

Metasound (2003)

for flute, trombone, percussion and double bass

  • General information
    • Composition date: 2003
    • Duration: 7 mn
    • Publisher: Inédit
Detailed formation
  • 1 flute, 1 trombone, 1 percussionist, 1 double bass

Premiere information

  • Date: 5 December 2003

    Angleterre, York, Sir Jack Lions Concert Hall


    l'ensemble Chimera dirigé par Chris Finch.

Program note

"Music is not sound; it's behind, beyond sound, revealed by sound"
Iancu, Dumitrescu (1997)

Metasound began life as an experiment in June 2002 in a workshop with New Music Players at the University of York where the initial instrumentation was flute, percussion and cello – all of them amplified. Later on, I decided to expand and complete the work with the current instrumentation.

The amplification of the instruments enhances the sound possibilities I can use by revealing unusual – and sometimes inaudible – sonorities. With the use of IRCAM’s 'Timbre Dissimilarity Data Collection', a method for characterizing the structure of the relationships inherent in a set of sounds differing in timbre, I tried to identify and develop some tendencies and functions among the sounds. I applied the results of this in a kind of instrumental sound synthesis process in which each instrument contributes by adding sound elements in order to synthesize the final object.

The title Metasound may imply complex behaviours of instrumental sounds deployed to lead the listener and the performer beyond the actual sound itself. Notes have been abandoned in favour of mutating, sometimes teetering and exploding, sound complexes. Distortion noise and violence become deliberate intentions with their own musical meaning. Metasound emphasizes the production of a sound, where unstable acoustic systems, musicians and musical notation all interact in real performance. The performer / interpreter has the interest of making sounds not simply playing sounds.

Panayiotis Kokoras