Barry Truax - The Shaman Ascending

Duration: 15'46

8-channels tape

The Shaman Ascending evokes the imagery of a traditional shaman figure chanting in the quest for spiritual ecstasy. However, in this case, the listener is placed inside of a circle of loudspeakers with the vocal utterances swirling around at high rates of speed and timbral development. The work proceeds in increasing stages of complexity as the shaman ascends towards a higher spiritual state.

The work and its title are inspired by a pair of Canadian Inuit sculptures by John Terriak with collectively the same name, as well as Inuit throat singing. All of the vocal material heard in the piece is derived from recording of the Vancouver bass singer Derrick Christian. The Shaman Ascending was commissioned by the ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany and premiered there in February 2005.

The Shaman Ascending
Barry Truax
Phipps Concert Hall



Barry Truax