Sound Artist


Electroacoustic music is a surrealist voyage in our immediate sound environment, be it human voice, instrumental music, industrial noise, synthesised sounds, incidental sounds, plants, animals and any other natural or artificial sound source. Through this voyage, the composer tries to grasp the intrinsic nature of sound, and the spatial and temporal organisation of these individual sonic entities or sound objects is how the composer reflects the artistic and abstract mind.

Ivan Zavada

Click on the links below to listen to individual compositions…

Dada 2009 - January 2009 (9:00min)
Study No.1 - August-December 2008 (4:50min)
Study No.2 - August-December 2008 (5:15min)
Study No.3 - August-December 2008 (5:25min)
Study No.4 - August-December 2008 (5:15min)
Study No.5 - August-December 2008 (4:44min)
Study No.6 - August-December 2008 (5:08min)
Aquasonic - March 2006 (7:00min)
Aquasonique - August 2005 (10:10min)
Mirage - May 2004 (2:54min)
Neutron - December 2000 (7:04min)
Paradoxa - December 2000 (11:20min)
Eclipse - August 1999 (15:40min)
Schwermut - December 1999 (9:25min)
Relation Diplomatik - June 1999 (7:56min)
Consequences of your choices - December 1998 (4:39min)

Dada 2009 - January 2009

Dada 2009 highlights several important aspects of the way in which 3D-Composer can be used to generate sonic and musical material. The main possibilities include thematic, melodico-rhythmic and timbral evolutions constituting the profile and structure of the composition. Some compositional techniques involve layering and superpositions of textures engendered by augmentation and reduction of intervallic ranges triggering sounds and melodic contours. This exposes the elastic properties of the microcomposition as the main algorithmic generator.
The title Dada 2009 evokes a certain renewal character spawning the initial idea of exploring unknown musical and perceptual qualities by generating or triggering events within a purely Cartesian three dimensional space, veering away from the traditional notation system. This sound exploration is governed by the self-generating elements created by various parametric changes of the micro-compositions, the fixed set of nodes generating variable structures over time, thus creating a musical form intrinsic to these generative elements themselves. From these musical reiterations, more specifically the looping of the micro-compositions, a certain order and series of set patterns emerge. This musical gesture represents a sonic landscape of the current cultural world state, where organised sound is created from non-organised sonic material. In its initial state, a pure sound has no function, until it is placed in the context of time where the functions attached to these individual sonic entities foster a musical and even extra-musical meaning. Allegorically, it is similar to viewing objects through a lens, focussing on particular objects by adjusting the depth of field and giving the impression that an object stands out. This is accomplished by bringing out specific textures, timbres, melodies, harmonies and rhythms in the presentation of the sonic material.

Six Electroacoustic Studies

The studies demonstrate the possibilities of 3D-Composer software and are intended for concert performance.

Aquasonic - March 2006

Aquasonic is an abstract interpretation of the inner journey of an athlete during a competition, in this case a swimming competition, from the first instance of plunging into the water until the end of the mission is accomplished. This route may seem short to external observers, but the inner state of consciousness may deal with this challenge otherwise during a competition. Mental imagery, self-verbalisation, inner brain wave rates and self motivation patterns are determining elements induced by the psychological state of the competitor, and are crucial for ultimate performance.
This composition is a sonic voyage into the mind of an athlete, during the multiple stages of a competition event, where self-motivation constantly pushes the physical barriers, which at times can be compromising and challenging, until finally the state of jubilation is attained at the end, during which a performance self assessment is subconsciously triggered. The sound sources are essentially water from a pool and a swimmers movements in the water, as well as sub-aquatic sounds. They were modified to represent what might be a complex network of inner forces regulating high performance output.
!!! This work was chosen for Empirical Soundings - soundscapes from the commonwealth, an international call for surround sound installations, part of the cultural activities concurrent with the Commonwealth Games 2006 - Melbourne.

Aquasonique - August 2005

Improvisation for two performers based solely on a pre-recorded sound of water filling a cup and then overflowing. The brassage technique (Cecilia) is responsible for the initial sound processing, namely a granulation technique which randomly reorders on a small scale, the way the file is being played back. The audio result is then passed onto Quadraloop, a real-time audio looping software designed by Ivan Zavada within the Max/MSP interactive programming environment. It is at this stage that more metamorphosis is conducted involving repetition with added spatial effects.

Mirage - May 2004

Mirage is a real-time composition realised with the Quadraloop software which I developed over the last three years. In this project my goal is to combine my experience as a violinist and my programming skills within the Max/MSP environment to create a piece which reflects the amalgam of my musical ideas. Limiting myself to a specific compositional technique called looping I explore the variability of loop indexing within the recorded violin material on stage… thus creating musical fragments or cells of various duration, which in turn become a unique medium of expression. Depending on the source, the same looping patterns or structure will generate completely different sonic atmospheres. Full version:16:00

Neutron - December 2000

The isolation of a neutral sonorous particle provoques an elastic chain reaction which evoques organized chaos. Systematic use of an audio looping software which I developped at the beginning of this new odyssey, influenced by our present socio-cultural and economical context where repetitiveness is priviledged. A loop is a sort of neutral sonic kernel, maybe even a non-determined discord. But despite its neutrality, the loop attracts me more and more. This musical whirlwind siphons my mind!

Paradoxa - December 2000

Contradiction which may lead to abstract reasoning. This composition emerged by itself, and triggered an evolutive process which made me discover the rich possibilities one has, to sculpt sonic material and generate emotions in parallel. Positive, negative or no emotions at all. This paradox tries to validate a sound processing prototype with which I am always in confrontation.
Mainly, I programmed a module in Csound to vary an audio loop in real time. This variation of a repetitive cell constantly regenerates new sound material. I used some excerpts from my own instrumental compositions to recreate a paradox with respect to the original composed music. This abstraction finds its meaning in the final coda which neutralises the previous paradoxae.

Eclipse - August 1999

Eclipse was designed as an electroacoustic composition. More specifically, an intriguing sonic voyage inviting the listener to detach himself from the reality of urban life. This piece was composed in the studios of the University of Montreal, during a period of three months where the originator spent most of his days inside during daylight but unfortunately not seeing any summer radiance. Hence the title Eclipse, which depicts the experience of the compositional gesture and the confrontation with one self in the creative process. Incidently, on August 11, 1999 was the last solar eclipse of the millenium in the northern hemisphere.

Schwermut - December 1999

Inspired by my German course at university, I manipulated the content of a wandering German voice in cyberspace… Maybe this composition represents the transformations which a set of information undergoes during its voyage on a computer network. Concatination, segmentation, re-transmission, encoding, decoding etc… In this composition I used solely a 3 second sample “Der Schwetmut der rauchenden Stadt” line from the poem Vorholle, a text by Georg Trakl (1887-1914), which translates to - the melancholy of the smoky city… The focus was mainly the exploration of the variability of an audio loop as generation of sonic material and texture. I developed a module in the Cecilia interface which allowed me to manipulate the main parameters for repeating a sample in various ways. Achtung! Warning! The obsessive character of this looping module may create dependance.

Relation Diplomatik - June 1999

In quest of a hybridation of diverse sonic images, which represent the state of mind of the initiator, this impromptu voyage invites you to transcend the junction of the acoustic and the electronic, via mixtures of traditional, techno and electroacoustic music.

Consequences of your choices - December 1998

Every human being is confronted with choices leading to consequences of bipolar nature. To avoid this confrontation with choice would lead to a deadlock. This piece is my first electroacoustic sketch and represents a turning point in my journey as a composer, often halted by questions and uncertainties, I was led by the inner strength which everyone of us contains in our soul, more often than not, blurred by the influences of external power. Nevertheless they still allow us to choose the consequences which bring us closer to our dreams.


Copyright © Ivan Zavada - Sydney Australia 2012