Colonizer 1 for horn and live electronics
Colonizer 1 draws inspiration from recent advancements in space travel technology that increase humankind’s potential for space colonization. On December 21, 2015, SpaceX successfully returned the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket back to its launch site via a vertical propulsive landing, historically marking the world’s first successful landing of a rocket used for orbital launch. On April 8, 2016, the Falcon 9 landed on a robotic barge off the coast of Florida. The reusability and flexibility of the Falcon 9 rocket significantly lowers the prohibitive cost of space travel, which will dramatically accelerate space exploration. During that April mission, the Falcon 9 delivered the first inflatable “habitat” module to the International Space Station. The installation of the module, called the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM), will afford NASA the opportunity to test its exposure to the radiation, temperature, and pressures of space. After testing, astronauts traveling to the moon, Mars, asteroids, and other destinations could use similar inflatable modules as living and working quarters. In September 2016, Elon Musk revealed the architecture of his Interplanetary Transport System, along with plans to send manned missions to Mars in 2024. Such technological advances fire the imagination. What would it be like to travel on that first spacecraft sent to colonize Mars? Colonizer I imagines such a journey, and serves a companion piece to LaRosa’s recent organ solo Falcon 9.
The electronics in Colonizer 1 consist of live-processing of the horn, as well as processed recordings of the horn, triggered as the horn player progresses through the piece. I used phase-vocoding to transpose the horn below its playable range, providing deep resonant fundamentals that I characterize with vast, seemingly infinite spaces. To create an otherworldly atmosphere, I convolved the horn with a waterphone. The piece’s fast B section introduces granulation of horn recordings.
Collin Findlay, horn
Jacobs School of Music, Bloomington, IN