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Work Information

Per Nørgård : The Enchanted Forest


Work Notes Electronic piece (for separate tapes - right/left channel - in stereo)
Publisher
Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen
Category Electroacoustic Works
Year Composed
1968
Duration 12 Minutes
Orchestration
two separate tapes

Programme Note

The electronic piece "The Enchanted Forest" was composed during 1968-69 in cooperation with the electronic studio of Jørgen Plaetner and the Danish Radio. The work arose from my fascination with combined sounds (sounds of interference and difference), or even more from the transformation of sonorous waves by the human ear - the perception.
I consider the "creating" influence of the ear upon the sonorous waves particularly fascinating; the phenomenon of combined sounds, that is to say, a subjective sound which, as everybody knows, is the consequence resulting from the simultaneous effect of two sonorous sounds upon the auditory nerve.
A theoretical description of the piece will doubtlessly be the best means of clarifying the background of this. A magnetic tape with two tracks simultaneously plays a sonorous spectrum of 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800 and 900 hertz, and am-spectrum of 196, 234, 392, 490, 588, 686, 748 and 882 hertz. These spectra (harmonious) sound like soft Aeolian harps if they are played separately and at low sound-intensity. Contrary to this, the ear “produces” a sound of 100, more exactly 98 hertz, at strong intensity. These sound are perceived in a particularly intensive way (having an agreeable or disagreeable effect according to the taste, the physical specifics, or the temper of each listener), almost as if produced within the head itself – which actually is the case! One can object to this that sounds are produced within the head; the sounds of difference however, show some very particular specifics, that is, they resound as if within themselves, which cannot be said of “normal” sounds.
The title alludes to my personal perception of the work. A forest, or an ideal enchanted garden, where everything is in motion and yet solidifies within an intemporal harmony in the form of static existence.
Per Nørgård (1969)

alternative: later, shorter note (1984):
The Enchanted Fores:
"The Enchanted Forest" is an early example of my occupation with the phenomenon of auditive perseption. On the surface: a simplicistic, contemplative collection of two columns of overtones - all at different speed. Under the surface: a wealth of differentials (that is: purely subjective) tones, interwoven between each other. This is not a "composition", but a study in the inner world of hearing, and the listeners result is dependent on his concentration on the subtle effects.
The title alludes to my personal perception of the work. A forest, or an ideal enchanted garden, where everything is in motion and yet solidifies within an intemporal harmony in the form of static existence.
It was the the tempo- and pitch-interferential idea from "The Enchanted Forest which lay behind the first movement of my work for chamber orchestra "Voyage into the Golden Screen", also from 1968.
Per Nørgård (1984)

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