impossible balance-- a sound piece for ice and lights

for String Quartet and Fixed Media



May, 2019

Premiered by Mivos Quartet @ Qualcomm Institute Auditorium in Atkinson Hall  @ UC San Diego

i am impressive by the article “Changing state of Arctic sea ice across all seasons” by Julienne Stroeve and Dirk Notz. the article claims that because of its high reflectivity, sea ice reflects the majority of the sun’s radiation reaching the surface back to space, which efficiently cools the polar regions of our planet. As sea ice melts at its surface, its surface albedo is lowered, which in turn increases the amount of the sun’s energy absorbed by the ice surface and further enhances ice melt. When the ice completely melts, this solar radiation is absorbed by the darker ocean surface, generating a positive feedback that amplifies Arctic air temperatures in autumn and winter as the ocean returns the heat gained in summer back to the atmosphere. my piece is for fixed media and live string quartet. the role of the electronicacoustics in this piece is to present a melting process inside the ice. in reality the melting of the ice is behaving as a decay and decrease while sonically inside ice is actually opposite. the more the ice melts the busier the sonic environments are inside ice. this is what i am focused on. i am also aim to address the human activities on global warming in my compositional process. like anti or mirror the human behaviors in my own behaviors of making the piece. part of human behaviors ruining the nature is waste. this reminds me of many processes of making an electronic piece are to use many sound files , many audio samples to create a track but was lack of consideration of making a track based on limited material. so in this piece , i only use 20 seconds fragment of the shortest sample from our database which is called “Arctic03B_sitB_090420_044328_ice_01_6min”.  the way of processing the file is to majorly use a sampler tool. this sampler tool works in a stochastic permutation and combination algorithm that enables the different parts of the sample to coexist or present as juxtapositions disorderly which mirrors the human behaviors of destroying the environments with the stochastic or arbitrary without thinking decisions.