Composition itself is a difficult process and making one for 25 different sound sources complicates it even further. Initially I’d assumed to take 24 sounds and send them through the various speakers in a loop. This became cacophonous. So I needed a more nuanced approach.
I went to Handel’s Messiah which has a traditional popular set of pieces for the season of Christmas. I chose the piece ‘And the Glory of theLord,’ and took 24 events from the piece. I then used those events to help me compose. Each event became a place or a happening where waiting occurs.
Each event doesn’t take place on a single speaker. The event travels through certain speakers depending on the shape of music that I’ve taken from ‘And the Glory…’. The first event starts on speaker 1 then could travel through a few others, the second starts on speaker 2 and so on. So I’ve composed the full 24 events and set them to go through the speakers.
This works if all the speakers are hung but the advent calendar in this iteration works with a new speaker each day. So day one had the full event on one speaker. By Day four the previous days sounds come through but strictly according to the original score. Hopefully there is then a sense of compositional play going on as the sounds reveal themselves.