Javier Alejandro Garavaglia

Granular Gong (2000)

Genre: Acousmatic Music

Duration: 13:50


Granular Gong explores and experiments with the following subjects:


-         the creation of pure synthetic metal-like sounds with Chowning FM (a physical modelling technique developed by me in 2000 -2001 using Csound) and then varying and combining them with another synthesis procedures like Phase Vocoding (involving both time-and-pitch shifting), spectral mutations and convolution (multiplication of 2 different spectra) but mostly Granular Synthesis (therefore giving the name to the piece), trying to use this particular type of synthesis in an original and new way, attaching the type of synthesis to all formal structuring as well.


-       large crescendo structures, resolving their inner tension in different sounds. Very loud and very soft moments are an essential part of the very structure of Granular Gong.


-       the movement and rotation of all these sounds in a space or room. Therefore the original version was composed for an 8-Track diffusion set, which is the best performance possibility.


Software used for the composition and production of the piece:

Csound (mainly for the physical modelling of the Gong Sounds), Soundhack, Audiosculpt.


Granular Gong is available on the public domain commercially on the CD: Festival Internacional Sonoimágenes 2005 / VOLUMEN 1/ Colección SONIDOS Y VISIONES DEL SUR / Música electroacústica de compositores nacionales e internacionales’, edited 2005 by the Universidad Nacional de Lanús (Argentina).



Technical specifications:


The Final 8-track Master was mixed using ProTools.


The channel distribution for concert purposes follows the American octophonic surround way, as follows:



The performer on the Mixing desk should not try to diffuse the piece, as all octophonic movements are already pre-composed and saved on the tape. A general indication would be to consider all 8 Output Busses at 0dB level basis (Unity), but as the overall dynamics can vary substantially from one system and concert hall to another, the final decision of a common overall level for all 8 channels remains on the performer.


The octophonic version is the only version which brings the whole compositional ideas together, as the space is indeed a primordial parameter and therefore should be given priority. However, if an octophonic system is not in place, a quadraphonic reduction as follows:


Channel 1 & 5 together,

Channel 2 & 6 together,

Channel 3 & 7 together,

Channel 4 & 8 together.


should replace it.


Indications for the performance:


This acousmatic piece, composed in 2000, is available on the following different formats (all octophonic):

-       ADAT – 48 kHz Sampling Rate

-       DTRS – 44.1 kHz Sampling Rate

-       8 separate AIFF files, which can be uploaded to any current computer Audio Sequencer (Pro Tools, Nuendo, etc) for performance on a PC or Apple based computer.


Commercially available on CD since April 2006, there is a stereo version of the piece as well, but this one only qualifies for Radio or home reproduction.