There is a lot to look forward to in 2o22 - one exciting project is the upcoming album release of Else Marie Pade's orchestral works at Dacapo Records. The upcoming album includes Pade's concerto for violin, which until now has only existed in the composer's original scores and has never been recorded before. The album is recorded by violinist Christina Åstrand, Malmö Opera Orchestra and conductor Joachim Gustafsson.
A composer ahead of her time
Tonmeister Daniel Davidsen is recording engineer on the upcoming album and realized during the recording sessions that Else Marie Pade's ideas about the placing of the members of the orchestra was deeply visionary. In her violin concerto, the orchestra sits in a special circular system which can be seen in the sketch above.
Daniel Davidsen here tells about the work with the violin concerto and about Pade's forward-looking principals:
"Else Marie Pade's script for the violin concerto includes a sketch of the orchestra instrument positions in a system of circles with the soloist in the centre. It's a surprising idea which could easily be redrafted into a position plan based on the surround recording technology. In other words: the composer has been more than 50 years ahead of her time.
In 3D recordings, the musicians can profitably be placed in circles around a central system ("array") of microfones which are mounted on a large rack (a "tree"). In traditional recording, many more microfones are needed and the tonmeister must use the positioning of the musicians as the starting point. With circular recordings, the musicians must adapt themselves to the microfones, but in return it is often experienced as natural to play or sing in a circle.
The smaller number of microfones and the wider spreading of the musicians means that the differnet voices will stand out more clearly. The price is that the possibilities of changing the balances in post production are limited. This means that it is necessary to spend more time on sound testing and that the sound is approved before the recordings begin.
The recordings in Malmö was made with distance requirements because of the corona situation. It turned out that the 3D technology was better suited for making use of the limited floor space, which made it possible to complete the recordings despite of the restrictions.
Circular recordings like this one results in a basis material in surround or 3D. The post production of the 3D material demands an advanced sound studio with 11 speakers.
It's necessary to plan from the beginning how the 3D material should be made into a stereo version, but in the case of Else Marie Pade, the composer's instructions didn't cause any problems for the production of a well-balances stereo mix."
Else Marie Pade's works were compiled at Edition·S in 2019.