The Tuning of the Tide is inspired by the most natural and ancient of musical instruments: the human voice. The human vocal repertoire may be classified into two groups: sound-objects called phonemes, and allother sounds, including ones associated with paralanguage. The form of the piece is rooted on these two concepts. The material can be divided into two groups: continuous sounds and discrete sounds. Vowels in human speech are articulated by consonants forming phonemes and by discrete sounds forming musical discourse. Continuity is given by the vowel-like sounds which were digitally synthesized by means of a computer using three different synthesis techniques: frequency modulation, wave shaping, and formant synthesis. Articulation, on the other hand, is produce by noise-like sounds generated by an analog synthesizer.
The process of composition was aided by two computer programs designed by Miranda: CAMUS (for Cellular Automata Music) and EDAS (for Edinburgh Acousmatic Singer). CAMUS is a program that uses certain algorithms called ‘cellular automata’ used mainly in biological research. These algorithms were adapted for generating musical patterns and are inspired by the formation of DNA structures and ecological dynamics. EDAS is a program for the synthesis oÍ vowels and speech-like sounds. The piece was composed at the Electronic Music Studio in the Faculty of Music oÍ the Edinburgh University between
January and March 1992.
The speech that appears near the middle of the piece is the expression in Brazilian Portuguese: “O povo oprimido passa fome!” (The oppressed people are hungry!) This questions the paradox that the human race is capable of producing advanced technologies like psuedo-intelligent machines, and weapons, but is unable to solve the social problems of ecological devastation, human rights, racism, and so forth. The composer wonders a better use of these technologies.
Eduardo Miranda, violin
- Eduardo Reck Miranda was bom in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in 1963. He graduated in Data Processing Technology at Vale do Rio dos Sinos University, in Sao Leopoldo, Brazil in 1985 and went on to study electroacoustic music in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia between 1986 and 1991 . In 1991 he attained a Master Degree in Music Technology at the University of York, in England. Meanwhile he studied Philosophy, Discrete Mathematics, and Music Composition at Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, in Porto Alegre, Brazil, where he also worked as a composer and researcher in computer science applied to music. Eduardo is cunently reading for a Doctor Degree in Philosophy at the Faculty of Music and Department of Artificial Intelligence of Edinburgh University, in Scotland. His research work involves Artificial Intelligence, aided Signal Processing, and Algorithm Composition. Last year he also studied computer music at Zentrum fur Kunst und Medientechnologie, in Karlsruhe, Germany.