Disturbances of circadian rhythm
for flute and Max/MSP (computer)

Derek Charke
Derek Charke
Composition Date: 2009
Genre: Works with Electronics / Multi-Media, Solo Works, Woodwind(s)


Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 1 x Flute
  • 1 x Computer
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Programme Note:
Disturbances of Circadian Rhythm was commissioned by Chenoa Anderson with funds provided by Nova Scotia Tourism, Culture and Heritage. Duration of approximately 11 minutes. It was premiered at Shattering The Silence 2009, the Acadia University New Music Festival on January 31, 2009 by Chenoa Anderson, flute with the composer controlling the computer.
The radio sputters, woken but not fully. Half asleep there are sounds, images but then a return to a restless half-consciousness. Moments of lucidity are countered by perturbative utterances both from the flute and the electronic sound-scape, an analogy perhaps reflecting on those half-awake, half-asleep moments when we dream (REM) and those of deep sleep. It’s safe to venture there is no deep sleep in this sonic world!
The flute sound is doubled, harmonized, sent though filters, a vocoder, reverberations and other effects. The flute is also sampled live and looped at various speeds to create a bed on which to linger. At times the flute triggers prerecorded chords that clunk away in random orders, speeding up as they do. An infinite reverb captures the end of a phrase here and there transitioning us into a new moment. Pre-recorded sound-files are omnipresent; a radio tuning to stations, static, water flushing, voices, low drones, a double bass countermelody and an accordion. At the end crickets chirp, though perhaps this is simply the beginning – deep sleep's arrival.
Rotational arrays were employed to control all pitch material in the work, similar to the kinds of twelve-tone procedures Stravinsky employed in his late serial works. The solo flute line was created first, then the electronics were created to weave in and out of this prenotated material, ultimitely altering and affecting the originally notated score.
Disturbances uses the program Max/MSP (cycling74.com) to control all live processing and sound-file playback. The patch is set up so either the performer can advance events using a foot pedal, or preferably someone else is controlling the computer and mixing console. Setup includes a laptop computer running Max/MSP with a decent sound card interface, a mixer, a reverb unit, speakers and a microphone for the flute.
Commissioned by: Chenoa Anderson

Premiere Information:
31/01/2009 University Hall, Acadia University Wolfville, Nova Scotia Chenoa Anderson, Flute Derek Charke, Electronics


  • Call Number:
  • MI 9110 C473di
  • Genre:
  • Works with Electronics / Multi-Media, Solo Works, Woodwind(s)
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • March 26, 2010
  • Type:
  • Print-music, Published by CMC
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score (8 p.) ;
    8 Pages
    Height: 39 cm
    Width: 28 cm
  • Additional Information:
  • Flute and Max/MSP (Computer)
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Disturbances of Circadian Rhythm for Flute and Max/msp (computer): Score
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Krishna's FluteKrishna's FluteCD $13.98
Disturbances of circadian rhythm for flute and Max/MSP (computer) by Derek Charke (Score)
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Disturbances of circadian rhythm for flute and Max/MSP (computer)
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