De Nedergang is a contribution by Ernst van der Loo
De Nedergang is a piece composed in fifth order ambisonics using both concrete and synthetic material. The title is an antiquated Dutch word having a double meaning: ‘the descent’ but also meaning ‘the decline’ or ‘the downfall’. It this second meaning it is related to the German ‘der Niedergang’. Large parts of the piece have been recorded in a hallway which both in Dutch and Norwegian translates to the word ‘gang’. On top of that the acoustics of a concrete stairwell are extensively featured in some of the used material. The materials that form the basis for this piece are mostly concrete. The synthetic material consists of sounds either driven by or derived from the concrete material. The piece makes use of the acoustic environment the basic material was recorded in. The aim was to create a piece in which ambisonics was used as more than just a panning algorithm, acoustics became a true compositional factor. The piece also deals with human agency. Or better described, false agency: synthesised sounds sounding ‘organic’, as opposed to real agency that is falsified by slowing material down in extreme ways.
Ernst van der Loo