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balanfô (acousmatic music)

by Daniel Blinkhorn (2006)

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The Australian Music Centre's catalogue does not include any recordings or sheet music of this work. This entry is for information purposes only.

Materials for this work may be lodged in our collection in the future. Until then, any enquiries should be made directly to the composer/sound artist or their agent.

Work Overview

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

the instrument

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)

Work Details

Year: 2006

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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