ConCord - Sinfonietta for 16 Oscillators

ConCord – sinfonietta for 16 well-tempered oscillators was composed and performed by composer Platon Buravicky during his residency in Erica Synths Studio n November 2020.

We talked to Platon Buravicky to understand the idea & technical side of composing & recording the Sinfonietta for 16 Oscillators.

ConCord audibly visualises souls of the people living on this planet - as they are shaped in an infinite number of marvellous forms, like waves in an ocean. All together the ocean is filled without conflicts. They arrive in concordance.

The main expression tools in this piece are both micro-polyphony, parallel chords, which are audible in rhythmic unison (harmonic pulsation) and spectral processing - when chord, which from the beginning consists of natural spectrum sounds (fundamental tone and overtones, of which the frequencies are built with multiplier either gradually distorts or increases ( e.g. multiplier 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, then collapse till 0.7 and come back to original).

For instrumentation the following principles were used – natural sounding waves – cycle (strings), rectangular (brass), triangular (woodwinds), sawtooth (double reed woodwinds), sub bas oscillator (for mixture of low brass, double-basses). Nevertheless, the focus wasn't matching timbres of actual acoustic instruments, therefore so called instrumentation served only for the material organisation.

To create the timbral spectrum of the piece, the main guidance was the sound capabilities of this custom built modular system. Whereas to display a more accurate spectral process 1/8 tone scale was used. This can be considered one of the main advantages of Black VCO 2.

Platon Buravicky used custom built, fully analogue modular system, assembled in Erica Synths 3x126HP monster case. The system consists of 16 Black VCO2’s, 8 Black MIDI-CV interfaces, 4 Black Quad VCA’s, 6 Black Dual EG’s, 1 Black Envelope Generator and 9 Pico Scales. No VCF’s – all sounds come straight from VCO’s, expression is added by Black MIDI-CV module modulation output adjusted by Pico Scale. The system is sequenced by a score in Sibelius software and MOTU MIDI interface.

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