Mikel Kuehn - Works

The Secret World of Bookends (2005), 4-channel fixed media: [Flash Required]

Program Note

The Secret World of Bookends (2005) is an electroacoustic fantasy based entirely on recorded sounds made by two generic metal bookends. I found the inexpensive bookends in the basement of my new house and was intrigued by the sound that they made when I accidentally dropped one. The resulting piece not only explores their sonic attributes but also the boundless imaginary world that exists in the myriad of thoughts and information between a functioning set of bookends. The sounds that the bookends make are gradually exposed and transformed over the course of the work. Most of the sounds in the piece were produced by striking, bowing, or grating the metal bookends.

A note on the sound diffusion of the work in live performance: This is a 4-channel work that is designed to be diffused onto an 8-speaker (or more) surround system. The objective is to create a listening space that sounds as if the listener is surrounded by individual percussionists.  At the opening of the piece the sound should come directly from 4 separate speakers (e.g. the "corners" of the space). In the final 1/3 of the piece, the texture becomes more abstract and should gradually envelope the audience, using all speakers in the space (8 or more).