The Hispaniolette

  • composed by Christopher A. Williams, 2007/2013
  • performed by Barbara Held (flute)
  • made with generous support of WORM, Rotterdam.

The Hispaniolette is a miniature remix of The Hispaniola: a webradio play for flutist, composed in 2007-8 for VPRO Radio 6’s program Café Sonore.

The original Hispaniola is a 56-minute work in 4 acts somewhere between an experimental Hörspiel and an electroacoustic composition, to be heard via webradio, traditional radio, or live with or without the flutist present. Its title is borrowed from the protagonist ship of the mythical adventure novel Treasure Island, which functions as a source of material, a metaphorical axis, and an inspiration for the project as a whole.

The Hispaniola centers on a study of imaginary distances: both among its diverse source materials and its media of production. Fragments from Treasure Island, historical variations on Lillibullero (a popular 17th century tune which appears in TI), bits of interval signals from the BBC World Service, and original music for flute and electronics form part of the same circus, mediated by an FM radio broadcast within the piece that alters our sense of space and narrative. When this broadcast later “heats up” through feedback and electromagentic interferences, the radios en scène obtain a voice of their own. The resulting network of interdependent histories, sounds, and technologies invites us to navigate the delicious continuity of once perceived distances, and to prize the fractures in those high and low technologies that define our contemporary radiophonic experience.

Credits

Recorded by Lukas Simonis and Ferran Fages, 2007.
Mixed by Christopher Williams and Lukas Simonis, 2007.
Remixed by Christopher Williams, 2013.

Texts from Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Flute: Barbara Held
Narrator (Dr. Livesey): Justin Bennett
Singing Voices: Barbara Held, Amy Lucas, Terry Savage, Christopher A. Williams