I was lucky enough to be asked by 840 to write a new piece for NME (New Music Ensemble) for the next 840 concert. I wrote a piece called Masking set for alto, viola and cello. It’s composed from five combinations of pitches and rhythms, stitched together to make one unfolding form in which groups of notes are covered and uncovered in turn. This process of covering up sounds led me to thinking about the phenomenon of auditory masking, whereby the perception of one sound is altered by another which occurs simultaneously (or very soon before/after). Auditory masking can affect the nature of sounds we hear in various ways, particularly when those sounds are already closely related in pitch or timbre.
Recording from the concert below, performed by Sara Rodrigues (voice), Julia Vaughan (viola) and Roxanna Albayati (cello). Huge thanks to all three for their hard work! And many thanks to Alex Nikiporenko and Nicholas Peters for organising the concert.