'Searching for Cecilia' taken by UCD Watcher telescope.
P.I. Prof. Lorraine Hanlon. Processed by Dr. Antonio Martin-Carrillo UCD in collaboration with Emer O Boyle
One of several works composed over the course of composer/performer Barry O'Halpin's residency at UCD Parity Studios, Haltere was created in close collaboration with accordionist Evin Kelly.
A sort of dynamic drone music, this piece invites listeners to sit and experience it up-close and actively, or else passively (perhaps subliminally) from a distance within the reverberant setting of the Science East Building.
The haltere is an appendage of flying insects that rapidly oscillates and assists flight, a sort of organic gyroscope. This concept finds a parallel in the piece's colliding source materials – field recordings of UCD lab machine drones and insect wing vibrations.
The mundane 48hz hums of several lab freezers and vacuum pumps on campus are recorded and transcribed into hypnotic chords on live instruments. In stark contrast to the machinery, the piece derives other chords from the very organic source recording of a vibrating mosquito's wing.
A disorientating and evolving continuum of bends and swells forms around these uncanny yet musical sounds, exploring the unlikely sonic overlaps between guitar and accordion. Machine drones and wing chords interchange and sometimes merge to create eerie biomechanical sonic entities.
Vintage sine wave oscillators from the School of Physics are woven into the performance at several points, controlled in real time by the performers.
Their sonic collisions and glitches are visualised in the warm analogue glow of an oscilloscope, with the mesmerising patterns reflected in the enclosing mirrors of Emer O'Boyle's structure.