Since I composed 'Crystalline' for solo piano in 1988, I have desired to project the image of crystals in sounds and space. Links from 'Crystalline' can be seen in the later pieces: 'Hommage en cristal' (1991), 'Crystalline II' (1995) and 'Metallic Crystal' (1994-95). In these pieces, a glassy, solid and transparent sound is required, like a cold, crystal sound sculpture.
'Metallic Crystal' uses only metallic percussion both for the instrumental and electronic parts. Percussion samples were transformed on the Ircam Signal Processing Workstation in real time, using techniques such as cross synthesis, granular synthesis, models of resonance, and also harmonizer and reverberation. These sounds were mixed with ProTools on a Macintosh computer. In performance these sounds are played back from CD, which is synchronized with the percussionist. The gradual transformation of timbre is analogous to a gradual change of refraction of light in crystals. This analogy is further enhanced by spatialization.
© Karen Tanaka