“A Flat Ground” (by Kristin Norderval)
Kristin Norderval cut her musical teeth touring with Einstein on the Beach in 1992, went on to record works of American composers such as Tania Leon, David Lang, and Anne LeBaron, improvised in the New Circle Five with Pauline Oliveros and Susie Ibarra, and co-founded the electro-acoustic duo Zanana with trombonist Monique Buzzarté. Now she has released a solo CD of her works for voice and laptop.
The composer writes: “Aural Histories is a compilation of works for voice and electronics. None have lyrics, but they all have stories. Some are improvisations recorded in one take with live sampling and audio processing in real-time; others are electronic compositions with varying degrees of vocal improvisation; and still others are through-composed electronic works. Some use the voice alone as sound source, and others contain pre-recorded and processed sounds of machines and electronic equipment, from coffee machines and microwaves to incubators and antique motors.”
Zooming further out, alongside singers and composers including Meredith Monk, Anne LeBaron, Juliana Snapper, and Mendi and Keith Obadike, Norderval’s work fits within […] a contemporary U.S. feminist opera that seeks to denaturalize singing, listening, and sound. This is work that faces rather than masks sound’s dependency on material transduction. Furthermore, it never forgets that sound always sounds in a three-dimensional setting even when played through speakers or headphones, as will be the case with this CD. […] For Kristin Norderval each sound’s specific location in space is a significant compositional parameter. Aural Histories is not a linear sound trajectory; instead it is an invitation to step into any of its ten different scenes. The doors are open to you, the listener: please enter. “