(for tape)

Alma Latina (Soul of a Latin) (1996) (for tape)

Rajmil Fischman

Keele University


... this Latin soul hopes that there is still warmth and a reason to dance, that not all is lost and that, after all and in spite of thoughtless acts and dangerous ventures, life can still go on.

Technical Aspects

Alma Latina was composed at Keele University Music studios using a Composers' Desktop Project (CDP) computer workstation connected to a Soundscape unit. Final equalisation was carried out with Focusrite on a Pro-Tools system.

Technically, this piece aims to create a seamless transition between recognisable anecdotal sounds from a Latin American aural environment, and abstract sonic objects. In order to achieve this, various processes are used which bridge between the two extremes, such as the total or gradual transformation of anecdotal material using spectral techniques and the creation of rhythmic complexes in which anecdotal and abstract interact.

Specific examples of processes include vocoding (the imposition of the time-varying spectral envelope of one sound onto another), spectral interleave, which consists of interleaving groups of spectral frames belonging to different sounds and spectral tracing, a process which retains the most prominent partials at any given moment. The computer was also used in order to carry out filtering, brassage, delay, transposition, complex spatial movement with doppler shift and standard mixing, cutting and splicing.

Alma Latina was one of the pre-selected finalists in the Quadrivium Programmatic Music category at the 24th International Competition, Bourges.