Michael Norris, Deep Field IV / Joshua Hyde

In 1995, the Hubble Space Telescope opened its lens on a nondescript patch of sky — about one ten-millionth of the total sky area — and over ten days recorded light from ever more distant objects. The resulting image, the Hubble Deep Field (HDF), included some of the most distant objects ever seen, some over 12 billion light years away. This, and subsequent deep field images, evoke a kind of cosmic melancholy at the incomprehensibility of the wheeling field of matter, space and time around us. Deep Field IV is the fourth in a series of works or solo instrument/voice and electronics, in which all of the electronic sounds are generated in real-time from the live sound. The electronics are conceived as an ‘extended, abstracted virtual space’. They employ not only spectral transformations that ‘smear’ the input sounds over long durations, but also custom-coded multichannel granular synthesis engine that delays and fragments the input and redistributes them throughout the surrounding loudspeaker array, evoking a sense of the cosmic scales and spaces. This work was commissioned and premiered by Joshua Hyde in 2017.

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