Elastic Rebound

Randall Smith

Elastic Rebound has been performed in Arras, Birmingham and Montréal…

Elastic Rebound is the second composition in a series of three pieces that explore the geological activity of the earth. The title is a geological term coined by geologists after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake which describes opposing tectonic forces moving in opposite direction along each side of a faultline. The rock bends and in its weakest areas fractures followed by a spring back or rebounding effect — called ‘elastic rebound.’ This work uses these geological processes as a metaphorical ground to occasion sound. Sound events were gathered, many of non-musical origin, to lend voice to natural processes, each conspiring to produce an image of a landscape in flux. Isolating and elaborating individual sounds permits me to alter dynamics and mass, and the effect of the mixing of these objects creates a soundscape of cataclysmic disorder.

Elastic Rebound is filled with the tension of geographical recoil. Tectonic plates rub and repel, gasses hiss through the cracks, a teeming underworld gathers and is dispersed in a single furious upheaval. Hidden forces gather beneath the threshold of visibility, conspiring to create new worlds. Here everything is in transformation, each sound (and there are hundreds) giving way quickly to the next. Tempests of exhalation, sniffing, ringing, cracking, all gesture towards a crescendo of fracture. These gestures of opening and closing are the beginning, the prelude, to a new settlement, an uneasy truce of history and geography.



Elastic Rebound was realized at the composer’s studio in 1995 with support from the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA). It premiered on September 22nd, 1995 as part of ISEA95_Montréal, the International Symposium for Electronic Art. Elastic Rebound was awarded the 1st Jury Prize and the Public Prize at the 4th Prix international Noroit-Léonce Petitot (Arras, France, 1995) and was previously released on Prix internatinal Noroit-Léonce Petitot 1995 (NOR 4).


  • September 22, 1995, ISEA95_Montréal: Concert, 5e salle — Place des Arts, Montréal (Québec)



Elastic Rebound (1995), 11:11
stereo fixed medium



Date Work Program
October 1, 2012 Randall Smith, Elastic Rebound (1995), 11:11 Radio Horizon 93.9 FM (South Africa)