I-Park 4

Park Sounds

  1 A ensemble 7'48
  2 Invasive Sounds bass clarinet & electronics 9'15
  3 Pond Studio tape 6'18

Enda Bates / Ensemble Mise-en / I-Park Foundation

Release Date: October 18th, 2016, free download from bandcamp.com



I first worked with Ensemble Mise-en when they programmed a piece of mine for cello and electronics called Apophany for their 2015 music festival in New York. It was a fine performance by Maria Hadge, and a really great festival, so I was really delighted to get the opportunity to work with the ensemble and artistic director and conductor Moon Young Ha again in 2016.

I-Park has been running artists residencies for over fifteen years now, but this is only the second year of the Composers + Musicians Collaborative Residency, which was developed in partnership with Ensemble Mise-en. As one of five composers (along with Brooks Frederickson, Wally Gunn, Sungji Hong, & Matt Sargent), I had to prepare one ensemble piece, which was partially completed prior to the residency, while an additional solo piece was to be composed on-site during the two week in Connecticut. This was a real privilege in so many ways, as composers rarely have the luxury of working so closely with musicians, and particularly ensembles, over such an extended period of time. The beautiful environment of I-Park was also deeply inspiring, not least of which in terms of the diverse nature sounds which inspired both the solo piece for bass clarinet and electronics, and also an additional third piece in the form of a soundscape composition.

These pieces are therefore dedicated to Moon Young Ha, the musicians of the ensemble (thank you Vasko Dukovski, Jessica Park, Evan Runyon, Yumi Suehiro, Kelley Barnett, and Mark Broschinsky), and Joanne Paradis, Ralph Crispino Jr. at I-Park Foundation.

- Enda Bates, Dublin, Ireland, October 2016



Enda Bates / Ensemble Mise-en

violin, double bass, flute, clarinet, piano, & trombone

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The ensemble piece was partially composed prior to the beginning of the residency, but was completed and revised extensively during the two weeks at I-Park. This piece is entirely based on a single pitch (the A of the title) which is deconstructed by the musicians (piano, violin, bass, flute, clarinets and trombone) in various ways. The inner structure of this note is explored through the harmonic series and the pure intervals that result, but this single pitch is also distorted and in a sense broken, through the use of detuning, cluster chords and noise. You could say the piece is about trying to do a lot, with very little, something which is a recurring feature of my work.

At times the score for this piece allows for a certain degree of freedom and independence in how the musicians perform the material, particularly in terms of rhythm and tempo. The score also includes some structured improvisations which work almost as a sort of game between pairs of musicians, an idea which I had previously explored in another piece composed for Mise-en entitled The Echo Game. During these sections (such as the opening for example), one musicians can improvise a short passage within a given structure, which the other musician must then attempt to echo, like a sort of semi-improvised call and response. Although this material was composed before I arrived in Connecticut, the opening section seems now to almost presage the echoing crickets and nature sounds which were ever present during my time in I-Park, and have since become an abiding memory of my time in New England.

The piece was revised, refined and eventually completed during the residency, subsequent to the premiere performance at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, Connecticut on August 28th, 2016. The following video is taken from a second performance two days later at the National Opera Center, New York (with thanks to Moon Young Ha, Adam Mirza, and Fede Camara Halac for the recording).


Enda Bates: A (2016, NYC premiere) from ENSEMBLE MISE-EN on Vimeo.


Invasive Sounds

Enda Bates / Ensemble Mise-en (Vasko Dukovski)

bass clarinet, live electronics, & tape

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The second piece was a collaborative composition with clarinettist Vasko Dukovski and is based around a number of field recordings made around I-Park. The sound of this environment is so different from my native Ireland, and surprisingly busy for such a quiet rural area. The sound of crickets was ever present, either as a continuous background tone or a more distinctly rhythmical clicking depending on the distance.

Many of these recordings feature invasive sounds of different types, such as the croaking of bull frogs (an invasive species in this part of Connecticut), the distant rumble of cars and aeroplanes, the surprisingly harmonious thrum of the mini-fridge in my cabin, or the sound of a composer hitting a metal bridge with some sticks!

These field recordings formed the tape part of this piece, while the score was developed very closely with Vasko Dokovski, a wonderful musician and an expert in extended techniques for the clarinet. During the piece, Vasko echoed and responded to different elements in the field recordings such as the creaking of trees in the wind, the hum of a refrigerator, a gurgling stream, or the croaking of frogs, while the live clarinet was in turn further processed using live electronics. This music has now become engrained with my memory of that time, and that place, and is dedicated to Vasko Dukovski.




Pond Studio

Enda Bates


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Pond Spectrogram

This soundscape was based on two field recordings made around midnight outside my cabin; the Pond Studio of the title. The dominant sounds were that of crickets and frogs, accompanied by distant cars and the rumble of jet planes overhead. All of the additional sounds were generated from these two recordings, with a particular focus on the tonality and rhythmic call and response of the ever present crickets.

This piece is dedicated to Joanne Paradis and Ralph Crispino Jr.