by Olivia Block

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Karren is a two-movement orchestral-electroacoustic composition
by composer Olivia Block. The first movement, Foramen Magnum,
is an electroacoustic/concrète piece created from heavily processed
field recordings. These recordings were taken from orchestral
rehearsals and various public locations.
The second movement, Opening Night, is a layered orchestral
score performed by the Chicago Composer’s Orchestra, with
whom Block worked for several years in order to complete this
Thematically, Karren includes several personal interests and
areas of study, including Block’s recent work in anthropology and
sociology. Erving Goffman’s dramaturgical metaphor described in
The Presentation of Self in Every Day Life is a lens through which the
entire composition, presented on vinyl, might be viewed as a
metaphor for the self. The act of turning the vinyl disc over to play
one side or another highlights the binary quality of this
metaphor. Side one of the record plays the chaotic, angular and
unsettling “back stage” sounds of Foramen Magnum while the other
side plays the “smooth” “front stage” sounds–the orchestral layers of
Opening Night.


released November 1, 2013

Composed by Olivia Block 2006-2012
Orchestral Score performed by Chicago Composer’s Orchestra
Conducted by Christopher Ramaekers
Recorded in 2012 by Todd Carter in the Fine Arts Building, Chicago
Additional Musicians:
Jon Mueller (gong, percussion) recorded by Olivia Block in
Milwaukee, WI, 2011.
Mastered by Bhob Rainey
Field recordings from the following sites:
Multiple CCO orchestral rehearsals in Chicago, IL, San Diego Zoo,
Serralves Contemporary Art Museum in Porto, Portugal


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Olivia Block Chicago, Illinois

Olivia Block is an experimental music/sound composer and media artist based in Chicago.

Her studio based compositions are published on And/Oar, Cut, Erstwhile, Glistening Examples, NNA, and Sedimental, among other labels.
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