Idoru in Metals
. : for 2 sopranos, alto and computer

"Don't look at the idoru's face. She's not flesh, she is information."
-William Gibson, "Idoru"

Idoru in Metals (2004) was composed for the Nederands Vocaal Laboratorium directed by Romain Bischoff. In this piece the idea was to create the illusion of one singer, the Idoru, who can merge, harmonize and refract her voice at will. The Idoru comes from the book by the same title where a Japanese sentient computer singer is created and who is given a body made of metal.

This work is an approach to live computer music where reliance on the source signal, the female voices, by the computer and the interaction between the two, persuades the composition. The computer part is produced mostly by using the incoming sounds in real time, an approach that answers several problems related to expressiveness in electronic music. The computer generates material that responds to the nuances in articulations created by the performer on stage at every performance.

The computers treatment of the voices takes the formant content of it and can either accentuate its actual content or enhance its spectrum. By enhancing the voice the computer is able to create a metal voice for the alto solos, where other sections, such as the opening motion, triggers the synthetic metal gestures. In using language a singers voice is distracted by the meaning of the lyrics, in order to persuade focus back to the vocalists sound a text which deconstructs a Japanese translation of an English song is created. This way the synthetic language can be used compositionally to create effects and gestures which would otherwise be unfitting for certain common languages.

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Idoru in Metals wins First Place at the Musica Nova composition competition in Prague, 2006
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Idoru in Metals wins First Prize at the 1st International Biennale of Modern Art Crash 2006 competition.
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Idoru in Metals is recorded on the ICMC 2005 CD which took place in Barcelona and is distributed by ICMA

to buy this CD: click here

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review of ICMC performance by the Netherlands Vocal Lab by Tom Davis for the CEC website
Nevertheless some pieces still stood out as exceptional, not in the least Idoru in Metals by Henry Vega, a piece for vocal trio and computer in which the exceptional vocal control and clarity of the singers from the Nederlands Vocaal Laboratorium was matched carefully by live processing by Vega to generate an illusion of one singer, the Idoru, who could seemingly merge, harmonize and refract her voice at will.
Resistant op Toon & Taal festival  Provadja - Alkmaar - NL
Feb 8th 2009
Nederland Vocaal Lab
Intro In situ  Theater aan het Vrijthof - Maastricht - NL
Dec 7th 2008
Nederlands Vocaal Lab
Seoul International Computer Music Festival-KEAMS  Seoul - Korea
Nov 10th 2005

Ineternational Computer Music Conference (ICMC)  Barcelona - E
Sep 5th 2005
Nederlands Vocaal Laboratorium
Gaudeamus Festival  Beurs van Berlage - Amsterdam - NL
Sep 8th 2004
Nederlands Vocaal Laboratorium
NVL Concert  Amstel Kerk - Amsterdam - NL
Jun 13th 2004
Nederlands Vocaal Laboratorium