Thalpein is an audio composition arranged in three variations of dimensional sound that unfolds over the span of 31 minutes and 21 seconds. This piece was composed for a video installation art piece in collaboration with artist Lana Vogestad and will be shown in various gallery spaces in the upcoming months.

The composition itself was first sketched out on a sketchpad in the middle of the night – which can be seen in the image to your left.

The sketch shows three natural environments: Underwater, surface area, and atmosphere. The atmosphere took on an orbital role in creating a 3-dimensional component surrounding the other layers, with the third layer being contained in the 3-dimensional ‘atmospheric’ sphere.

Brett was brought in to help determine how to creatively move forward with the sound design and spatial audio strategy. In order to simulate the unobservable real-time nature of this particular phenomenon, we performed this piece using analog instruments and effects over an extended period of time. We decided to build an instrument using a combination of instruments, providing us with various sound options that enabled us to perform the entire piece live. As we listened over time, there was a strong connection to the imperfections. For the recording, I found myself snug underneath a Hammond B-3 organ with the keys taped to hold the chords. I was playing a Moog analog filter, a tape delay and pitch bending effects processor, while Brett stayed above playing the resonance on the organ.

Just prior to recording this piece, we had recorded with ambient and spatial audio artist, Christopher Willits, and had been inspired by our conversations from those sessions. We realized that we had a creative concept that actually warranted spatial audio recording to properly represent the visual sketch that inspired the audio and video.

Our live performance was recorded through a rotating Leslie Speaker to give us that orbital third dimension surrounding the other variations within the piece. We placed microphones around the Leslie, recording 3-dimensional/spatial audio the old-fashioned way – using a rotating speaker.

Music by Kirk Cornelius + Brett Allen. Video by Trevan Strean.