Flower photo by Caroline Senn
On the Location of Angels
Three sections

We Are in Love (SSTT and backing sounds); 4:33
Into the World (solo soprano, 'cello and backing sounds); 4:19
We Are Flying (SSTT, and backing sounds); 4:10
 (click title to hear/see score) photo by Caroline Senn

On the Location of Angels is conducted from a cuing video (Video_TS or Quicktime file) which is viewed only by the performers from a computer monitor (laptop). Cuing videos are used also to demonstrate the piece using Sibelius notation software voices. An exception is the middle section, "Into the World," where a pre-recorded and synthesized 'cello may be used to accompany the sung part. A live 'cellist is prefereable. For performance, the backing sounds are located alongside the video track. The work requires a technical person to adjust the balances throughout a performance. Vocal parts may need to be amplified with each performer individually miked—the parts panned left-to-right (T-S-S-T). Stereo speakers should be placed behind the players, to the left and right, to enable hearing the backing sounds. Foot monitors may also be used. For the middle movement, "Into the World," both the voice and 'cello part may need light ampification. Balance and clarity between the pre-recorded and live parts is paramount.
On the Location of Angels was composed from the "bottom up" in that the instruments were searched out, found and made playable using special reconstruction and mallets. Performance methods were developed and the instruments arranged into groups called Gamelydes. The the backing sounds were pre-recorded and performed by the artist with little attention given the live parts yet to be written—a purposeful process employed often in Senn's work. While Gamelyde 4 was assembled to be "friendly" to well-tempered intonation, the lydes are simple alluminum pot lids and only a few lined up with equal-tempered tunings. Here and there the performers must sing or play micro-tonally above or below a traditional pitch with the resulting out-of-tuneness quite beautiful and unearthly at times.

Cuing videos are used to teach and conduct the piece in a performance. The examples directly below are of Sibelius generated voices, backing sounds (pre-recorded lydes) and the video cues consisting of bouncing dots. Follow along with the score open in another window.

The text for On the Location of Angels  was written by the composer as the work evolved and alludes to a childhood experience at about age four. The electronic parts are recordings of found acoustic instruments called lydes arranged in groups of 13 called a Gamelyde. The work was composed from Gamelyde 4 and begun in Beaverton, Oregon and continued in Prague, the Czech Republic, in 2011, and then completed in September, 2013, in Watertown, Wisconsin.

The work may be broken up for performances. The middle section, for 'cello and soprano can be sung by a lower voice and may be presented alone, and, again, the a symthesized version of the 'cello part may be used. The first and third sections may be performed by a SSTT ensemble of 8, 10 or 12 voices. These sections may also be performed independently. The sung parts for the first and last sections are very high requiring the tenors to sing falsetto at times. Performance versions of the cuing videos are available by contacting the artist.
We Are in Love, 4:33, (follow score)

Sibelius voices plus backing sounds.

Main Menu
Into the World, 4:19, (follow score)

Sibelius 'cello plus solo soprano.


We Are Flying, 4:10, (follow score)

Sibelius voices plus backing sounds.