for four organs, celesta, harmonium, voice, wine glass, loopstation and live electronics

written for the Computer Aided Breathing ensemble

Navigation is a 6-part open composition for four pipe organs, celesta, harmonium, voice, wine-glass, loopstation and live electronics, written for the Computer Aided Breathing trio. It is a site-specific piece, created in and for the Orgelpark through an exploration of the potential of the space and its instruments during many workshop sessions. The piece was commissioned by Stichting het Orgelpark for the opening concert of its research program on improvisation (2008 – 2011).

The title of the piece is derived from the compositional and improvisatory methods employed in the piece, but also from the manner in which it was developed. The form is constructed as a multi-layered navigation between specific and predefined points – structural, sonic, spatial, and instrumental. It is pre-composed, while at the same time granting the players the freedom to adjust their course, diverge, and explore the areas within these points through improvisation. Furthermore, the concept of navigation is underlined through a spatial exploration. The players occupy different spaces and instruments throughout the piece, starting from a tight cluster in the center and gradually expanding to larger formations, until they are spread conquering the entire space. Lights are used to illuminate the growing space occupied by the players, gradually revealing the venue to the audience, further emphasizing the concept while amplifying the immersive character of the piece. The development process was itself an act of navigation within an unknown territory. During the several months it lasted, paths were slowly traced and enforced, creating a map/score as a guideline for the final composition.

Year: 2008
Type: Performance, composition
Instrumentation: four organs, celesta, harmonium, voice, wine glass, loopstation and live electronics
Duration: 40′
Materials/Media: Sound, speakers
Commissioned by: Orgelpark
Software: stm.modular (Max/MSP)


Kirstin Gramlich: Organs, Celesta
Stelios Manousakis: Composition, Programming, Live electronics
Stephanie Pan:Voice, Wine Glass, Loopstation, Celesta, Harmonium

Audio excerpts of Navigation from the soundtrack of Reformation, a feature film by Jeanette Groenendaal (the audio files may take a bit of time to load):

Navigation – part I & Interlude (scene: Mating under the tent)

Navigation – Interlude (scene: Lotte witnesses ponies mating)

Navigation – Interlude (scene: Eva’s corruption)

Navigation – Part IV (scene: Slaughterhouse)

Navigation – part V (scene: Finale)


Stelios Manousakis – Navigation, for the Computer Aided Breathing [2008] (score) (v03)