Cecilia Arditto Delsoglio

Post Term: percepción

The cheese grater’s five seconds of fame

A cheese grater is being played with a toothbrush. After a while, we completely forget the cheese grater and we can focus only on the sound. The continuous fricative noise is colored by mini sparks of high frequencies, short and loud.

That sound progressively becomes a ghost, a bunch of confused energy not attached to a specific physical body. The sonic outcome is different from the sounds produced by the object when in the kitchen. The grater-thing, as a lost map, with its metallic perimeter,  embrace new sounds floating in the sea of abstraction.

Deep listening is in conflict with what the eyes and/or the ears have to offer: is it really a cheese grater or a camouflaged synthesizer? It is known that synthesizers can efficiently produce a broad variety of sounds, they may also change the way they look,

“not what it sounds, the car, the instrument, the voice, but what sounds as sonic materiality and sense

I like the conflict that the grater brings on stage when not performing “spaguetti” but the most beautiful sounds ever.


La râpe à fromage doit être frottée avec un baguette de Triangle/
The cheese grater should be rubbed with a Triangle mallet
M. Ravel , L’Enfant et les Sortiléges



The true picture of the past whizzes by. Only as a picture, which flashes its final farewell in the moment of its recognizability, is the past to be held fast.
Walter Benjamin “On the concept of history”

I picture time passing like a bad contact switch, which turns, randomly, the light on and off. We are immersed in this intermittent room where the chairs, the stage and the musical instruments appear and disappear in flashes of sense; the complete picture of a continuous hypothetical space is only in our minds; the real space is in fact fragmented.
Time is a bunch of threads all tied up together. Our precarious perception tools wrap the emptiness around with more hope than certainties. Most of the time, time is just about random jumps on a continuous waiting state, that we, composers, attempt to fill with notes.


2/3. The big guitar – talk about my music at the University of Berlin, May 27th 2010

Conference about my music at the University of Berlin, May 27th, 2010. Part 2/3

An often-cited definition of music, coined by Edgard Varèse, is that “music is organized sound.” In my perspective, music not only deals with the organization of sound but also lights, colors, objects, words, movements, and the space around. Music is everywhere, music can be anything. Music is something that can be heard, but mainly can be thought. The world had been always there, but it is this particular angle on its perception which makes it musical. And music is therefore everywhere, inside and outside: the world itself becomes a big guitar.


The percussionists were the first in extending the instrumental setup a step beyond because it is idiomatic for them to play row materials and objects. And then, came the others.

I was progressively extending the habitat of chamber music to other experiences that are not necessarily based on sound but can be perceived as music. We know that music is something that can be heard but also can be seen and thought. Music is a way of understanding the world. And sometimes it sounds.


The music in this extended land is equally made of lights, gestures, movement. Image, texts, graphisms. Theater, jokes, anecdotes, and the vast space around. Because I am academic, my glasses have staves.

Links to some examples of this expanded language in my music

Around music

El libro de los gestos

To be continued…

Con los ojos abiertos


El flautista canadiense Daniel Buscher hizo una version de mi obra “Música invisible” tocando de memoria, con los ojos vendados. Relacioné esta imagen tan poderosa con algunos conceptos del libro “La trampa de Goethe, una aproximación a la iluminación en el teatro contemporáneo”, de Gonzalo Córdova, regalo de mi amigo Pablo Fontdevila.

La obra en si misma es la desocultación de un ente y el espectador cierra su círculo. Si el actor lleva una venda en los ojos, ese sinsentido finalmente obligará a contemplar lo que los actores ocultan.

Es un libro entre filosófico y poético, inspirado en “Estudios sobre el color” de Goethe, que en realidad son estudios sobre la luz.

Ahora el espacio es infinito y la luz forma parte de ese espacio en su doble condición, tanto como cosa que desoculta la verdad para que el espectador la redescubra y también como tiempo en la medida de la contemporaneidad de la revelación.

La luz recorta una realidad posible entre tantas. Su límite con la oscuridad evidencia dos partes complementarias de un mismo fenómeno: lo oculto se sostiene con lo que se muestra. La pregunta de la oscuridad se formula a partir del territorio iluminado. La luz cuando ilumina crea lo que es. Y el ojo,  sostenido por las leyes de la física y la maquinaria de interpretación, mira.

Tomo la luz como metáfora de una música de cámara ampliada: lo que entra en el campo de representación no es solo visual, sino palabra, idea, concepto, sonido. Las categorías se mezclan: los oídos ven, los ojos escuchan. También en esta música-habitación se puede ver en la oscuridad.
El tiempo que transcurre ante el yo sentado, ante el yo contemplativo, es continuo. El tiempo es una película compleja expresada en colores, en texturas, en formas y volúmenes cambiantes. El ahora se mezcla a su vez con otros tiempos: los recuerdos, los sueños, los olvidos, los deseos. El análisis separa las categorías y dice qué es qué. La música conjuga todos estos parámetros simultáneamente en armonía.

Hoy hablábamos con Abel Paul de su obra “Vacíos” donde todo transcurre en bambalinas, con resonancias en un escenario vacío de intérpretes pero lleno de objetos accionados desde un no escenario.