Czech Rail (2007) by Dan Senn

Czech Rail is a 2-channel electronic piece for loud speakers and dance, has a duration of 62'30," is in 15 sections, and is constructed from a special programming and recording of my Too Flutter (1992) sound sculpture. While engineering the piece, the "cyclical" rail sounds of the this instrument evoked images of trains passing through a Prague rail yard, sounds heard while moving about the sometimes rickety trains in eastern Europe, scenes viewed from the train, and then of ethereal choirs which seem to be continuously singing in the distance.

Even while composing Czech Rail, I started to consider writing choral music that would accompany the electronic version. In the summer of 2008, soon after returning from 3 months in Prague, and soon after the death of my father, I began work on Mass for Heavy Rail: Requiem for my Father which was completed in early February of 2009. An a cappella version of the choral parts, called Requiem for my Father, was completed soon after.

Czech Rail was recorded and edited at a resolution higher than commercial CDs, at 48k and 24 bits, and is available for performance at this fidelity. High resolution MP3 files are provided below, but due to a spectral complexity, these fall far short of the sound necessary for performance. The work may be altered to the extent that sections are elided, silences shortened or lengthen between sections, sections re-ordered, deleted or repeated. Theatrical sounds may be also added here and there, such as laughter or babble, to enhance the live action. The work should be played back with the best amplification and, if possible, in the round with stereo coming from the back as well as the front of the audience area. Care should be taken to handle the low frequencies effectively.

Click section to enlarge and hear.
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Section 1, 0:52

Section 2, 1:38

Section 3, 8:13

Section 4, 5:39

Section 5, 2:42

Section 6, 7:09

Section 7, 4:01

Section 8, 1:43

Section 9, 2:45

Section 10, 6:28

Section 11, 2:43

Section 12, 5:01

Section 13, 2:43

Section 14, 4:42

Section 15, 6:03
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