for Yamaha SY-77 or SY-99 synthesizer and tape

John Palmer

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for Yamaha SY-77 or SY-99 synthesizer and tape

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Composer John Palmer
Year of Composition 1992 rev. 1997
Duration ca.11'

Categories (all composers) , ,
Catalogue ID ce-jp1p1


I wrote Phonai in 1993 for a Yamaha SY-77 synthesizer with the intention to explore some of the instrument’s sonic capabilities. I like to consider the synthesizer as an instrument with a musical
potential not inferior to traditional instruments and offering an immense variety of colours and dynamic nuances. Four years later I decided to add a concréte counterpart to the synthesizer’s sounds
by using some voice recordings of my children Grace and Iris, at that time being 5 and 3 years old. Phonai is based on a principle of expansion and contraction of register, embracing a range of ten
octaves and including both the temperate tuning system (half-tones) and microtonality (quartertones). It is possible to perform this work on a Yamaha SY-99 synthesizer.

An acousmatic version of Phonai is available for stereo diffusion.