balanfô (acousmatic music)
by Daniel Blinkhorn (2006)
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balanfô is a work centered around the balaphone, a marimba that features in much
African music and is of particular importance to people of the Guinea nation, which is
often referred to as the 'province of the balaphone'
balanfô is essentially an acousmatic celebration of the balaphone via an assortment of
auditory icons, seeking to provide feedback about the actions implicit in the creation of
Throughout the piece, the sounds of splitting wood, securing calabashe resonators,
sawing and shaping of béné slats and hammering frames together have been fused with
streams of rhythmic and harmonic material and juxtaposed with chanting, singing,
talking, tumbling, crackling, thumping, and spiraling … all of which has been used to
emphasize the sonic, as well as experiential significance of the balaphone to the Guinea
people. A people who make, play and celebrate the balaphone as part of their collective
I used a balaphone in an advanced state of disrepair as source material for the work,
which was dismantled and used to provide all the sound sources throughout the piece
(excluding of course the voice, which is largely left unprocessed)
Instrumentation: 5.1 Surround Sound Acousmatic Composition Also presented as a Stereo audio Acousmatic Work
Duration: 14 min.
Commission note: Commissioned with funds provided by Australia Council.
First performance: 15 Nov 06. ICMC - International Computer Music Conference, New Orleans, USA
Finalist - 33e Concours Internationaux de Musique et d'Art Sonore Electroacoustiques de Bourges, France.
Performances of this work
15 Nov 06: ICMC - International Computer Music Conference, New Orleans, USA
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