Feb 28, 2009

Ronald Keith Parks

Ronald Keith Parks has received commissions from, and written for the Charlotte Civic Orchestra, NeXT Ens, Force of Nature, SC Music Teachers Association, Georgia Contemporary Ensemble, NC School of the Arts Symphony, the International Music Program, and many others. His compositions have been performed in numerous venues throughout North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. His research into computer music techniques has been widely disseminated. He was awarded the Aaron Copland Award and his music is available on the EMF, Vox Novus, and ERM labels. He is currently an Associate Professor of Music at Winthrop University.

Anacoustic Zones

The anacoustic zone is the region of the earth’s atmosphere, above an altitude of about 160 kilometers, where the distance between the air molecules is greater than the wavelength of sound, and sound waves can no longer be propagated. One thing I find attractive about composing electroacoustic digitally rendered music is the possibilities inherent in the ability to approach sound, and the transformation of sound, in ways that are not otherwise available.

In Anacoustic Zones I was intrigued by the possibility of creating metaphorical anacoustic zones through which sound-generating sources pass into and out of and the sounds they emit are disintegrated or reanimated in the process. The substance of the music becomes the aural evidence of anacoustic processes acting on sound generating sources as they near, pass through, and emerge from these zones. It is the transition from a normal state to immersion in the anacoustic zone (or visa versa) that is elevated to the perceptual surface of the music.

Each zone can have a unique effect on sound and disintegrate or reanimate it in different ways. Similarly, subtly different sounds may react differently as they approach or passes through the same zone. Content, gestures, and form are governed by the aural, surface evidence of the effect that each zone has on sound source materials. The result is a work that exists somewhere on the continuum between articulation and timbre.