The inhabitants of Baucis: “[…] love it as it was before they existed and with spyglasses and telescopes aimed downward they never tire of examining it, … contemplating with fascination their own absence.” [Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities, translated by William Weaver]. Bauci (the name of the ficticious city in the original short story in Italian) is the alienating metaphor of otherness: it is invisible, but it exists; is beyond the earth, but lying on the earth. A filiform sound, inaudible but terrestrial, clear and bright but stretching out in the darkness. A sound to peer in the absence, metaphor for every search: a search without adjectives, without why, the last threshold to which the human being is condemned.
Zaklinjanje (Incantation) (2015)
On first view, it seems that the composition Zanklinjanje (Incantation) by young Slovenian composer Nana Forte has nothing to do with the master of darkness but if we are more attentive, we soon discover a surprising fact: if we add the year of the composer’s birth (1981) and the year in which the present composition was completed (2015), we get the number 3996. If we then divide this number by six, the result is 666. It is no wonder the composition bears a witchcraft title and with its hypnotic attractiveness, attempts to bewitch the listeners. (Aljaž Zupančič, Festival Maribor)
In Tear, old Finnish folk tunes find themselves in alien surroundings. They act as echoes from the past and these echoes are also twisted towards melodies of our time. I have tried to create a timeless territory where different sound objects are melted together. In the music of Tear, the most intimate tones rise often from the middle of silent areas. In the middle of thin, riffling, and coarse textures, one can find scratching strands and fragile fluff. (Veli-Matti Puumala)
Concerto corto (2017)
Ordinarily when I compose, I begin with a concept inspired by something extra-musical, whether it’s an image, memory, history, or current events. Contrarily, when I wrote Concerto corto, I was consumed with purely musical concerns. I began with the idea of reverberation and how this physical concept could be manifested in the relationship between the violin and orchestra – whether sounds were reverberating out of the solo violin part, echoing around it, or imitating each other. As I continued to explore though, my initial experiments with reverberation liberated me creatively and resulted in the eclectic compositional language that pervades this piece. (Jared Miller)
SOUND OBJECTS / Sample and Hold
This piece is an homage to live sound making, the energy and power of imagination and the sheer beauty of sharing sound and sound-thinking together with a large group of committed musicians and community members. The nature of this work relies on direct communication and sonic responses to sound objects ideas and articulations that would allow for an extemporaneous and varied exploration of orchestral timbre, dynamic, gesture, spatialization and the combinations and dialogues between acoustic and electronic sounds.
An integrated approach to sound education and creativity is at the core of this project. Workshop participants have been led through explorations of various ways in which electronic sounds can be live remixed, manipulated and integrated to the orchestral sound, allowing participants sitting within the orchestral ensemble to create their own music and discover the potential of an orchestral ensemble.
With this work and activities I wish to provide a platform to expand explorations of live sound/music making in which priority is given to a visceral approach and immediate dialogues and responses via non verbal communication, while building upon a shared collective energy. Its purpose is not to reach an aesthetic dimension, but to foster and to reinforce fundamental values related to sonic imagination and engagement while playing as a model of a possible form of living together: an artistic practice intended more as a behaviour and a vehicle of group meaning where beauty is an activity rather than an entity.
A big thank you to all the participants and the musicians of the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, and a special thank you to Bill Linwood for inviting me and supporting this project.
Envers IV (2016)
Commissioned by the Simone and Cino del Duca Foundation of the Institut de France’s Academy of Fine Arts, this work was composed and premiered in 2016 “in memory of all the victims of attacks, of all those who have fallen prey to human violence”. It opens with a series of regular thumps that symbolize impacts on the victims, soon followed by sound configurations evoking the idea of falling and dissolution. While these direct allusions to the attacks are being made, a reverse process is taking place, which also starts at the very beginning of the piece. Discretely at first, and gradually more conspicuously, an ascending melodic motion develops, which represents hope for a world of sharing, not a world dominated by madness or hatred, but one in which peace would reign among all beings. The work ends with a kind of dilated waltz which slowly fades into silence.