Jenn Kirby is a composer, performer and music technologist from Ireland and currently based in Scotland. She has a diverse creative output, including instrumental composition, electroacoustic music and avant-pop. Her music has been described as having a “sense of adventure and experimentalism.” Jenn’s performance work is centered around hybrid instrument design, building software, re-purposing hardware, and processing improvised vocalisations. She is a lecturer at the University of the West of Scotland.
On her new album, Ravel, Jenn explores different aspects of the manipulation of time. She asks how the digital results of manipulating time relate to her perception of time in the physical world. Having become comfortable watching videos at 2x speed, she recently found herself wanting to 2x a video call. In that moment, getting the information in real-time seemed inefficient. She wondered if she saw efficiency as simply squashing as much as possible into as little time as possible, and what that means for making and experiencing music.
The artifacts produced from extended time-stretching are further processed to create textures and glitches. The resulting fragments suggest things lost or things found. Through a collapsing, expanding and ravelling of information, something new is created. It is not simply the same thing played fast or slow, but a new ‘thing’ that is very different to the original source, though still connected to it. The foundations of the songs are improvisations and there were no restrictions on the processing and production except that nothing was redone. Though the material was shaped and transformed in many ways, it has an origin that is connected to a time, place and emotion.