Dronescape 6.4 (Oneirology 5)
At the outset Leo Vervelde wanted to use the full special character of the bandoneon, explicitly asking to bring out the characteristic noises of the instrument and use them in the larger musical context. This is how the layers were recorded: with 6 microphones, 4 of them up close with 2 overheads (in the final mix not always all 6 tracks were used). This brings the listener closer than ever to this unique instrument, almost as if one is playing oneself.
Recording all the prepared materials by Vervelde took 2 days, and the work was done in a real flow and in good cheer.
Of the 3 layers of bandoneon recorded only 2 were used. Additional material, which van Dillen later mixed in during the composing /mixing phase, adds a high-pitched granular reverb, to create a further connection of the instrumental music with the electronics. This was realized in such a way that it could be performed live in this precise manner, for a possible future live version. The overall form is wie aus einem Guss and is from the very first day of recording.
After recording, all microphone tracks were carefully placed in order to avoid audio phase conflicts, but a random mouse-slip displaced one stereo track some seconds, which only became apparent during listening.
It led to an unforeseen canonic section which sounded so beautiful that it was kept in the final composition (section 11). This polyphony adds emotional and formal scope.
When the unforeseen happens, the open-minded artist can choose to evaluate the effect of the unforeseen to possibly include it if chance led to a better result than the precise compositional procedure originally planned.
As a frame for the whole work, van Dillen chose small sections which were recorded in between official takes which had soft rhythmical accents borrowed from, and referring to, Argentinian Tango, the world-famous style which Vervelde spent his life studying, performing and teaching; in Rotterdam where he co-founded the World Music Academy of Codarts, but not just in Rotterdam, he has been instrumental in educating both audiences and performers of Tango all over the world. These rhythmical fragments can be heard at the beginning and at the very end, and work as a frame to the image of the larger work.
This collaborative Oneirology touches on deep emotions; the lyrical long lines of the bandoneon lead the listener through landscapes of sometimes ambiguous feelings. After hearing the final mix, Vervelde observed that in fact, although the work as a whole does leave a strong and clear impression, the precise meaning left behind seems to change at the next listening. Did hearing change the listener, or the music itself, or both perhaps?
There is a fluid quality to this music, now with long lyrical melodies, sometimes in a canonic counterpoint, filled with a longing feeling, then again with rhythmical accents, as if impatient, and then again with long chromatic harmonic progressions in more pensive and ambiguous moods.
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