Countless shapes populate our visible and invisible world. Among the forms that appeal most to the mind is the spiral. The single, double or multiple spiral in two or more dimensions is found everywhere in the universe, e.g. in the eddies of rivers or gases, in the tendrils of plants, in DNA, in accelerated radiation, in whirlwinds and galaxies.
For this work, the shape of the simple spiral was studied in depth in two dimensions. The sounds that make it up are mechanical sounds taken from recordings and electronic sounds synthesized in the sonic pi program.

Sound material

The sounds used for the construction of the piece were chosen very carefully. They are recordings of mechanical clocks of various types from earlier times, bells with characteristic sounds from large
capitals (e.g. London, Big Ben) and finally NSA recordings of rocket launches and landings. These recordings were found in the BBC sound library. To the category of recorded sounds can be added personal engine recordings from an old factory. All of the reported recordings were problematic. Either due to unwanted noise or excessive reverberation. Their correction was done with the izotop program.
The synthesized electronic sounds were programmed in the sonic pi program, which has the Csound programming language as its logical basis.


The track is written for 8 speakers arranged in a circle in the room, in the following arrangement Figure.

All the sounds of the piece move in a circle on different planes, simulating the movements of the planets in the different galaxies, or they move in the form of a spiral from the outside of the circle to the center and vice versa.

Synthesis Technique

One synthesis technique that is well suited for a mulltichannel piece such as this is the granular synthesis technique, as sonic dispersion of grains or sets of grains with different outputs is more effective.

Sonic Pi
In this piece, I wanted to include melodic shapes that are not reproduced by natural sound sources such as musical instruments or human voices, which are then recorded as sound samples. So I decided to create these melodies digitally by programming them in Sonic Pi.

An example of a short melody is shown in the figure below. If the values entered in the program (such as frequency or duration, etc.) are changed, the melody can produce countless different results. The selected melodies were then processed in Ableton Live so that they could be integrated with the other sounds and play an important role in the track.


The MaxMsp A k B patches were created to study the motion of sound within the spiral shape. Although they were created during the synthesis process were not used, they were of great importance for the development of the piece and for understanding the spiral movement in space.

The next figure illustrates the programming in MaxMsp for the role that lighting plays in the track.


The center of the Milky Way is too far away to visit, but perhaps it will happen in the future. For now, we can explore it with telescopes that allow us to see what the galactic center looks like in different kinds of light. Astronomers (at NASA) create visual representations by converting the inherently digital data (in the form of units and zeros) captured by telescopes in space into images. The same is true for sound. They call it sonification and transport listeners to other galaxies. Inspired by their own data and until these journeys become reality, we will compose pieces that will fill our minds with fantastic sound experiences and make us dream of a better world.

The Hellenic Association of Composers of Electroacoustic Music (HELMCA) has released the electronic edition “2023” with works by HELMCA members who participated in the “Electroacoustic Music Days” festival held in November 2023 in Rethymno, Greece.

“Time is up” is on Number 11.