The Path Contorts as the Traces Fade was written as part of a project organised by Orgelpark in Amsterdam, inviting several young composers to write pieces for the recently completed ‘hyperorgan’. After a month of lectures and workshops on the intricacies of the new instrument, a first version of the piece was completed in close collaboration with organist Jacob Lekkerkerker, who gave the premiere in November 2019. Following the first performance, the piece was reworked and the score was refined so that it could be performed by other organists giving concerts at Orgelpark. The finished article was then performed by Ere Lievonen in February 2020.
The piece itself is heavily influenced by the capabilities of the hyperorgan, specifically the ‘pulse’ function which sends a controllable pulse LFO to the magnets controlling the air flow through the pipes, creating a rhythmic stutter. The distance which each magnet ‘opens’ can also be controlled along with the amount of air being sent from the bellows. In combination with the flexible registration system – which allows any individual pipe to be mapped to any key and layered infinitely – it becomes possible to sculpt almost any sound completely acoustically.
I wanted to create a seamless musical form developing from a single chord which slowly diffracts and transforms throughout the piece. The performer follows a fluid temporal structure which affords them space to respond to the intricacies of the instrument and the acoustics, whilst also controlling the parameters of the hyperorgan on the fly.
More information about the ‘hyperorgan’ is available on the Orgelpark website.