Babel is a large-scale compositional structure celebrating the multiplicity of musical language and evolving technologies as the 20th century came to a close.
Originally released as a 5-CD set in 1999, the first 3 CDs contain 'rooms' within an imaginary skyscraper tower city. This aural building being the embodiment of a modern-day Tower Of Babel; and the other 2 CDs contain KBBL - the Tower's fictitious radio station.
In this virtual architecture, where each track corresponds to a room in the tower, the first track Pagoda Charm is set in an imaginary concert-hall. In it are solos by an electric guitarist and saxophonist, both of whom can be heard elsewhere rehearsing these solos: in Mr. Brady's Room [BABEL - Chambers And Spirit Levels] and The Dressing Room [BABEL - Delusional Architecture].
Later in Pagoda Charm, a gradual acoustic shift in perspective happens, when we seem to leave the concert-hall (at around 8'00). This slowly leads us to the Mansard (an attic room with a sloped roof - a childhood memory room).
In Kalu Rehearsals - where the rehearsal IS the piece - (as in Mr. Brady's Room and The Dressing Room), we hear a clarinettist, with the Cantilena music in the distance as they are both temple musics. A Kalu is a Babylonian temple musician, and Cantilena contains molecular re-arrangements of songs from KBBL.
The Iron Language Alphabet is a sound alphabet containing tiny fragments of Babel within it (49 samples of music from KBBL spread over the white notes of a 7 octave midi keyboard). It opens with an heraldic trumpet solo followed by 'letters' of an alphabet being introduced one by one slowly, and then being sped up.
The solos in these recordings evolved in collaboration with the individual musicians and I am extremely grateful to Jo, Cindy, Tim, Lorraine, Rachel, Claire, Ger, Michael and Ian for their unique talents. See track info for more detail.
'Roger Doyle ought to be canonised. Those who have not heard his Babel collection have missed a whole lot in life. What drama! He puts a lot of other composers to shame. They should all bow down deeply for Roger Doyle. His music is warm, funny and richly elaborate'.
-Granslost Magazine, Sweden 1999.
Lengthy review: www.nightoftheworld.com/reviews/rdbabel.html
released 30 August 2012
Keyboards, programming and all music composed and produced by Roger Doyle © PRS 1991-97.
Tracks 1, 2 and 5 were used in' Tower Of Babel - Delusional Architecture', performed in an entire wing of the Irish Museum of Modern Art in 1992 by the dance theatre company ICONTACT. See video here:
Tracks 3, 8 and 9 were produced at the Banff Centre for the Arts, Canada, during 2 residencies there in 1992 and 1993, which I'll never forget.
Track 5 recorded at and commissioned by the Institute Internationale de Musique Éxperimentale de Bourges, France, in 1991.
All other tracks: home studio.
Tracks can be downloaded at CD quality and have been uploaded from original DAT masters. Total time: 76'05.