Spatial Saxophone Quintet


The next piece to be composed for the Trinity360 project will be a spatial saxophone quintet, performed by esteemed saxophonist and composer Nick Roth, and the Cue Sax Quartet on Tuesday June 26th (or June 29th in case of bad weather). Nick Roth is a prominent contemporary musician in Ireland and co-founder of the Diatribe record label, and was part of the quartet that performed A Round, Around. The Cue Quartet also performed From Without, From Within along side Trinity Orchestra, which was the first 360 video presented as part of this project.

I’m also very happy to announce that this will be the first in a series of videos presented in partnership with Rode microphones who are providing a Soundfield ST450 MkII Ambisonic microphone to record the piece.

The quintet will be performing the piece in four different locations around Trinity College, each of which support a slightly different spatial arrangement of the five musicians. The first location, pictured above, is the Freeman Library in the Museum building, which has been the library of the Geography department in the university since the 1930s. This beautiful room contains a balcony which extends across three sides, and so is ideal for a spatial layout with musicians at different elevations.
The other indoor location that will be used is the old anatomy theatre (pictured above) in the School of Medicine. The very steep tiered seating in this lovely room will support a semi-circular arrangement of the quintet at different elevations from the recording position at the lecture podium.


In addition to these two indoor locations, the piece will hopefully also be performed in two outdoor locations, namely Front Square (which can be seen in the opening shot of From Without, From Within) and the exterior balconies of the Samuel Beckett Theatre (pictured above). These two outdoor performances will be open to public and will take place on Tuesday June 26th at the Beckett Theatre at 12.20pm, and in Front Square at 2.20pm. Currently the long range weather forecast is pretty good for that date, however, if the Irish weather acts up we will postpone until the 29th (stay tuned to this blog for confirmation of that closer to the date).

The exterior balconies of the Beckett Theater are particularly interesting as they will allow for multiple different elevations and a vertical distribution of the material. For the Front Square performance, the musicians will be simply placed around in the camera, apart from the opening section which will explore greater distances in more detail. Specifically, the musicians will gradually approach the camera from each end of the campus while continuously playing, forming a spatial call-and-response that initially blends in the background ambiance of the city before gradually becoming more prominent as the players approach the camera.


While the entire work will be performed in each location (albeit with different spatial arrangements of players), the accompanying 360 video will most likely be an edit of these performances, with different sections taken from the specific location that best suits the spatial distribution of material. In this way, the video documentation of the performances will not consist of a continuous performance from one location, but will instead feature multiple locations and spatial distributions while still involving a single piece of music.

The precise way in which these multiple locations and performances are edited into one continuous 360 video will be interesting to explore, so stay tuned for more updates on that process over the coming month.

I would like to acknowledge the support of the Trinity College Visual and Performing Arts Fund for this performance, and also the support of SoundFieldTM Microphones in providing equipment for this project.

In addition I would like to thank Gillian Marron and Padraig Carmody from the Dept. of Geography, Siobhan Ward and the Steering Group for Old Anatomy from the School of Medicine, Michael Canney from the School of Creative Arts, and Austin Sheedy and Rua Barron from DU Players, for facilitating access to these different venues around the university. 

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