Ben Wylie - Acousmonium II - for Melodica and Hacked Tape Recorders


The melodica has been re-tuned to approximate a selection of notes from the 5th octave of an overtone series based on F. However due to the finicky nature of the instrument, a number of these pitches remain slightly out-of-tune, adding strange colors to both just and equally tempered intervals. This is paired with an electronic track featuring similar in-tune-but-out-of-tune just intonation intervals, orchestrated with simple sine and square waves that exploit the distortion that the tape recorders add to the sound.

Tuning information:

Intentionally out-of-tune just intonation based on a fundamental of F: F, F#, G, A -14, Bb -31, B -49, C, C# +41, D, Eb -31, E -10 (approximate difference from equal temperament expressed in cents)

Composer bio:

Ben Wylie is a composer, improviser, and sound artist originally from Washington State, now based in Vancouver, BC. His music has been performed in the United States, Canada, and Europe by ensembles and performers including Boston Musica Viva, the Bozzini Quartet, Ensemble 2e2m, Chris Watford, the Ludovico Ensemble, Naomi Sato, and Sylvie LaCroix, among others. He graduated with a BM in Composition from the Boston Conservatory in 2014, and continued on to receive an MFA in Interdisciplinary Studies from Simon Fraser University in 2016, where he studied composition and theatre. As an improviser he has created live scores for choreographers Linnea Gwiazda and Emmalena Fredriksson, he has also been featured in the 2015 Big Joy Festival, Quiet City concert series, and Sawdust Collector concert series. He has also shown sound installations at the Vines Art Festival (2015, 2018) and has collaborated on installations with theatre artist Megan Stewart and interdisciplinary group The Public Swoon.