Kolmanskop (2016, revised 2017) 

for tuba and live electronics

Composer - Olly Sellwood

Written for Alex Glyde-Bates.
Filmed in Southampton in April 2018.

In my recent work I have approached the act of composition as the construction and subsequent exploration of delimited musical situations. This piece draws on this idea by using a small amount of different types of material: four musical phrases for the tuba, four audio effects that change the sound of the tuba, four different samples of found sound, and four speakers positioned at the four corners of a room. Throughout the piece the different mixtures of these materials bump against each other by layering simultaneous phrases as well as cutting between contrasting ideas. 

The first pedal (when depressed) switches on an audio effect that takes the audio signal from the tuba and repeats little phrases back again. This effect is combined with an audio sample taken from a Mardi Gras celebration. The second pedal effect is a delay combined with a sample of jungle ambience. The third, a harmoniser, is linked to the sound of a brass band warming up. Finally, the last pedal is distorts the clean signal and is matched to the sound of a rock/hip-hop band. Each speaker is initially assigned one effect and one musical phrase, which is disrupted as the piece develops. 

The sounds you hear are played on the tuba or activated by the performer with a pedal. This means that the performer has to engage in a small dance routine

while playing. 

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Kolmanskop has been performed by Out-Take Ensemble on the 23rd April 2018 at the Talking Heads in Southampton and on the 3rd March 2016 at the Hansard Gallery in Southampton.