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Kingyo Obsession

Information

Kingyo Obsession (2017)

日本語:金魚オブセッション

for four voices or choir (SATB)

Commissioned by Soundstreams (Canada)

ca. 5 min.​

Program Note

"Kingyo" is a Japanese word meaning "goldfish". In this work, I imagine the kingyo freely swimming in the endless body of freshwater, multiplying at an alarmingly rapid pace, until the body of water is filled with the slimy, shiny, and oxygen-hungry fish... and poof, I wake up. Kingyo Obsession focuses on repeated motifs and melding patterns of sonic materials made by the voiceless plosive consonants by the singers. It aims for slight changes and sudden silences to act as punctuated accents. This piece was commissioned by Soundstreams for the 2017 Soundstreams Emerging Composers Workshop, and was composed while in residency at the Ragdale Foundation in Illinois. It was premiered by Sara Schabas, Shauna Yarnell, Sean Clark, and David Roth in the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto, Canada, as part of the 21C Music Festival.

Past Performances

May 26, 2017 (World Premiere)

21C Music Festival

Temerty Theatre, Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto, ON, Canada

Sara Schabas (Sop.), Shauna Yarnell (Mezzo-Sop.), Sean Clark (Ten.), David Roth (Bar.)

March 1, 2018

Cluster: New Music and Integrated Arts Festival

FortWhyte Alive Alloway Reception Centre, 1961 McCreary Rd, Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Performed by Polycoro Chamber Choir

April 6, 2018 (Japan Premiere)

Tokyo Media Interaction: Acousticlub Vol. 3

Suginami Kokaido, Suginami-ku Kamiogi 1-23-15, Tokyo, Japan

Performed by Sakiko Shiga (Sop.), Reina Takeuchi (Mezzo-Sop.), Shota Shimomura (Ten.), Motoki Okiyama (Bar.)

[Performance Notes]

All notes are sung in a voiceless plosive consonant, also known as voiceless bilabial stop. A plosive consonant is produced by stopping the flow of air by tightly closing the lips, and suddenly releasing it with a simultaneous pop by opening the lips. To make relative pitch differences with the plosives, accompany each pop with a whisper pronouncing pā. Always keep lips moist.

Kingyo Obsession utilizes five pitches, each a whole step apart. For conventionality purposes, each note is assigned a pitch (e.g. C), but these are notated as a criterion for the performers. 

[Lower registers]

To create an effective "pop" in the lower registers, close lips and tighten the modiolus on both the right and left sides of the mouth. Build air pressure inside the mouth, and forcefully "pop" downwards. Do not use the vocal chord, or make the air sound audible. Make sure there is enough moisture on the lips.

[Higher registers]

To create an effective "pop" in the higher registers, close lips and tighten the Orbicularis Oris muscles on all sides of the mouth. Build air pressure inside the mouth, and forcefully "pop" in the direction of both right and left. Inevitably, the mouth widens in a horizontal direction. Do not use the vocal chord, or make the air sound audible. Make sure there is enough moisture on the lips.

Demonstration of correct and incorrect "pop" by Larissa Irizarry (Sept. 2017)