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A bass-drone, constructed from a slowed down recording of radiophonic white noise with the mid to upper frequencies extracted, begins, and is heard throughout, the composition. A subcutaneous melodic line was made using micro samples taken from a low-resolution recording of the spoken source text (below). The recording was, first, slowed down considerably. Then, melodic and non-tonal material was sampled, extracted, edited, reversed, superimposed, and harmonically enhanced, and the whole, finally, looped. The loop was afterwards processed through delay, harmonic, and reverberation modulators to generate a succession of extended and imbricated echoes. Two versions of loop run in parallel, but out of synchronisation. Over the loop, a choir is heard. Their singing is derived from a shortwave radio broadcast, possibly from eastern Europe, of sacred choral music. A recording of such was sampled, slowed down considerably, reversed, broken into smaller units, and superimposed to create an entirely new melodic line.

Source Text
God of mercy and love, I am now sure that you do not want me to live in fear any longer. I am sure you are guiding me to a new freedom. My heart confirms this. Already, I feel blessed and in your presence. I have not felt this calm or care for so long. I hope in faith; it is because I am sure of your guidance. I am no longer disturbed by my inability to visualise a thirty five-year teaching career. I have worked on this, but there is no comfort or succour in this vision (April 17, 2010).

Source Reference
Stephen Chilton [diary] April 17, 2010.


from Seven Prayers for Stephen Chilton: Requiem [album], released November 2, 2021


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John Harvey Ceredigion, UK

I’m a practitioner and historian of sound art and visual art, and Emeritus Professor of Art at the School of Art, Aberystwyth University, UK. My research field is the sonic and visual culture of religion. I explore the sonic articulations of the Christian religion by engaging visual, textual, and audible sources, theological and cultural ideas, and systemic and audiovisualogical processes. ... more

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