Cecilia Arditto Delsoglio

Program notes

La arquitectura del aire / The architecture of air (2009)

for organ and two percussionists
comissioned by Orgelpark, Amsterdam

In the beginning, I thought that the piece was about air and the space between things, space conformed by the emptiness that is shaping the contour of things from the outside…
Perhaps because the two percussionists and the organ conform a triangle spread on the hall; or because the organ has a motor and pipes and the vibraphone has a motor and pipes; but also because the musicians play ventilators, a melodica and old radios and they manipulate air in different states and frequencies; or because the performers communicate with each other with strings tied to tins, in the manner of low-tech telephones -when I was a child I used to build this kind of telephones with my sisters…
Therefore I realized the music was about “in-betweens”. It is music made of air and threads -basically made of nothing- where the musicians tie sounds with strings and send each other signals with the instruments, the motors, and the voice. Something solid made of air…
This is the way I feel, very strong and very fragile altogether, the stronger, the more fragile.

• Audio


Related post/s in my blog
 “Arquitectura que canta” (Español)
“Los músicos de La arquitectura del aire” (Español/English)
“La arquitectura del aire and the program notes” (English)
 “Estreno de La arquitectura del aire, para órgano y dos percusionistas (Español)
“Los asistentes” (Español)
“Pan comido” (Español)
“Listen to me” (Español)
“La vida pende de un hilo” (Español)
“La función hace al órgano” (Español)
“La vista flaca” (Español)

Related works:

• Gestalt (2014)
• Esta tarde leo a Adorno/This afternoon I read Adorno (2013)
• Time machine (2011)
• El libro de los gestos / Book of gestures (2008)
• Split piano (2011)
• Gespleten piano (2010)

La madre del río / the mother of the river (1997 – rev. 1999)

for four/five percussionists 
dedicated to Carmelo Saitta
1st Prize Concurso de composición CEAMC 1997   

The organization of sounds in La madre del río is based on the ideas of Carmelo Saitta, an Argentinian composer and percussionist. Saitta considers the percussion set as an orchestra itself, organizing instruments and props into different families. La madre del río is an anti-percussive piece that primarily uses long sustained sounds with soft attacks. A set of wine glasses emulates the sounds of a live synthesizer, playing in counterpoint with a glissing vibraphone. Other percussion instruments are distorted and modified through the literal use of water, creating quasi-electronic sounds with acoustic means.
The piece is based on a popular Argentine story called The Mother of the River, with the aim of emulating, through the music, the beautiful reflections of this mythological character in the water, as well as capturing the tension caused by her powers.

“Nobody has ever seen the Majuy Mama. There were those who saw the reflection of her hair as she sank in the Argentinean northern rivers. Some say she is a river mermaid. Others speak about a hen that sinks with its chicks or a black horse in the mountain rivers whose long tail can be seen. When she is a mermaid, she bathes in the rivers and wraps with her hair the fish that she loves the most. If a man sees her, he absorbs all of a sudden her complete happiness. The Majuy Mama, in excruciating pain, raises waves with her tail, and bumping herself against the stones, disappears in the deep waters. The happiness of some is the sadness of others.”

• Audio

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Performance history

21/7/2004 Perceum, Ensamble de Percusión de Montevideo: Jorge Camiruaga, Ricardo Gómez, marcelo Zanolli y Sebastián Pereira. Núcleo Música Nueva de Montevideo Sala Zitarrosa, Montevideo, Uruguay
9/4/2002 Essential Elements, percussion: Charles Wood, John Kennedy, Eric Kivnick and Maya Gungi MATA Music at the Anthology Festival Angel Orensanz Foundation Center for the Arts NYC
21/10/2000 Sin Cataforesis: Sofia Escardó, Daríó Ĺ ipovich, Miguel Magud, Daniel Judcovsky, Daniel Serale Museo Isaac Fernández Blanco, Buenos Aires Argentina.
13/11/1999 UB Percussion Ensemble; Anthony Miranda, conductor Slee Concert Hall Sate University of New York at Buffalo
1998-1999 La madre del río (for four percussionists) grupo de percusiones Tambuco Forum Internacional de Música Contemporánea de Mexico (editions 1998, 1999)
1997 First Prize CEAMC & British Art Centre Composition Competition, Buenos Aires Argentina


Related works:

• Maps of the Water (2007)
• Viaje de las frecuencias en el agua / Travel of frequencies on the water (2018)


Cuarteto (1996)

Cuarteto is inspired by the Sederunt Principes by Perotin, a four-voice chant setting (organum quadruplum) composed in the XIII century. Sederunt Principes is presumably the first polyphonic composition for four voices, where colorful textures and ingenious motivic games come together at the end of every phrase. This phrasing in arcs was a conventional technique in the late medieval polyphony, rooted in the Gregorian chant, reminding the pillars of Gothic cathedrals.
Cuarteto utilizes vocal techniques from the XX avant-garde inspired on the exuberance of this pioneering masterpiece from the Middle Ages. It also addresses its arc form. Both pieces, Cuarteto and the Sederunt Principes, even with a completely different outcome, share similar composition technics and a close spirit.

• Audio 

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Related works:

• Las ciudades y los signos (SATB)
• Anatomy of a jar (2020)

Casi cerca / Almost close (2003)

Casi cerca / Almost close is based on the idea of suggestion rather than revelation. The music operates in the outer limits of perception; events are sensed rather than clearly perceived. Contour prevails over detail, the respiration of music is whispered.
The narrow dynamic range, the restricted instrumental timbre, and the blurred effect of the rhythmical combinations aim at creating music that is slightly ‘out of focus.’
Melodies are masked, melos being more important than the melody itself. Casi cerca is related to something possible to perceive but impossible to touch, impossible to see, impossible to hear. The word “casi” (almost) represents the fragile line that divides things that are close, completely apart.

• Audio
• Interview/article PDF
• Analysis

Related post/s in my blog:

“About notation” (English)

Download score PDF

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Related works:

• Canciones (1998)
• Palabras / Words (2005)
• The daughter of the sorceress – opera page



Canciones / Songs (1999)

for soprano, baritone, flute, trombone y percussion   

Canciones is based on the idea of singing instead of song, melos instead of melody. Even though the act of singing is ceaseless, the songs themselves are never defined. Singers and wind instruments sing a song without song. Melodies are invisible threads that flow as the reminiscence of a song, the memory of something that never existed.

• Audio 

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Related works:

• Casi cerca (2003)
• Palabras / Words (2005)
• The daughter of the sorceress – opera page

Around music #1 and #2 (2006 and rev. 2018)

Around music #1 (2006)
for alto flute, trumpet, violoncello, percussion and piano
commissioned by Stichting Perpetuumm

Around music #2  (2006/rev. 2018)
for alto flute, electric guitar, cello, piano and percussion
new version commissioned by New Maker ensemble

“What is for the eye must not duplicate what is for the ear”
“The eye solicited alone makes the ear impatient, the ear solicited alone,
makes the eye impatient. Use these impatiences. ”.
Robert Bresson

Around music attempts to be a philosophical-humoristic reflection about the rituals of modern music and the concert situations. Actions related to the practice of music like counting, failing, facing technical difficulties, repeating or dropping instruments are the new musical material for this piece, written in a score.
Around music is music to be heard, music to be seen.


Program notes Around Music#2  by New Maker Ensemble (July 2019)

Terms such as “absolute music”, or “abstract music” can be seen as dialectical responses to major philosophical systems, which were influential in central Europe during the mid 19th century. Music – in these people’s minds – should therefore be an art form, free and independent from everything else. It should only respond to its own laws and, for bearing an essentially pure and formally perfect nature, any produced discourse would prove incorruptible.
The interest of any musician subscribing to this thought ghetto, should, above all, in the abatement and suppression of any noise, sonic and visual, but also semantic and political.
At the moment each piece finds itself realized, only that which most resembles the imagined formal ideal must survive! However, in each concert, there always happens a number of things which are not music in those terms. People have solely learned how to ignore them.
New Maker Ensemble, London July 2019

Sistema Project
If we think a system is a cohesive form of a group of inter-related elements, then, depending on the temporal and spatial framing, anything can be a system!
These types of considerations have been a focal point in the culture of production, conception and critique of the New Maker Ensemble. This time, Sistema (system) has served as a starting point for all the work developed in this project, from the new music program to the complementary educational activities.
The way we challenged the various creators, we also challenge you to think of systems: where are they? how are they created? how are they useful? how do they work? what do they tell us? how do they constitute themselves? what are they made of? how do they manifest themselves? what do they produce? how complex or simple are they? how do they evolve? what direction do they have? how are they part of us? what autonomy do they have? how are we part of them? etc.


• Video Around music #1
• Video Around music #2


• Press – Ratatouille TV – Around music
Press – Ratatouille TV – De metafysica van de humor
Press – Het parool
Press – NRC

Related works:

• Out loud – project page
• Gestalt (2014)

• Score Around music #1

Download score PDF

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• Score Around music #2

Download score PDF

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Flyer (front) Concert Muziekgebouw Amsterdam December 2006 Humor in hedendaagse muziek uit Argentinië. De metafysica van de humor
Flyer (back) Concert Muziekgebouw Amsterdam December 2006 Humor in hedendaagse muziek uit Argentinië. De metafysica van de humor

Time machine (2011) – program notes

for violin, trombone, piano, radio, cassette player and a rocking chair
commissioned by NFPK, Holland

There are three people sitting in a room; they are just staying but also remembering the past and dreaming about the future all at the same time. It is always difficult to say what now and here means because our hearts gets always confused about organizing emotions on a timeline.
Koen rewinds, anticipates and plays the cassette player as a metaphor of past (and future?) memories. Bas plays a radio that catches the air in an ever-flowing present. Nora moves back and forth from the piano in a rocking chair, looped in her own clock.
Music is a powerful time machine, traveling through chronologically organized sounds, but mainly through the mixed archeology of our emotions.


Part of the composition process of “Time machine ” was shared in my blog
• Blog Post “La máquina del tiempo” (Español)
• Blog Post “La máquina del tiempo 2” (Español)
• Blog Post “La espuma de los días” (Español)
• Blog Post “Trio 7090” (Español/English)
• Blog Post “Gespleten piano o el piano escindido” (Español)
• Blog Post “La música del teatro” (Español)


Related works:

• Gestalt (2014)
• Esta tarde leo a Adorno/This afternoon I read Adorno (2013)
• El libro de los gestos / Book of gestures (2008)
• Split piano (2011)
• Gespleten piano (2010)
• La arquitectura del aire / The architecture of air (2009)

Gespleten piano (2010)

mini piano theater for piano, tapes, three lights and an optional mirror
comissioned by Festival Música contemporánea Palma de Mallorca

When I was a child my father had built a door in the yard of my apartment with the lid of an old washing machine. Once through it, the little door led to a parallel yard –which in fact was the same one. In appearance the yard was alike, but if one paid attention, the same things started behaving in a strange, a rather magical way. The drawing of the tiles had the power to hypnotize you, and the insects from the plants could read your mind. Not to mention the effect if my mother showed up with a snack… she terrified me because I thought she was a “double”. I only could stay for a few seconds in that parallel world and then, running and scared to death, went through the little door back to the “authentic yard” to have a snack with my real mum. While I was composing Gespleten piano, I remembered this story from my childhood because in this piece there are real objects and their duplicates. A mirror duplicates the visual space, the cassette players emulate the aural space. There are also extra-musical “twin” objects.  I like to think that in the game of the piece it is not clear which is the original and which is the copy.

Lately, I like to explain my music through anecdotes because they are as confusing as the program notes but they are more easy-going.

Cuando era chica mi papá había construido una puertita de chapa con la tapa de un viejo lavarropas, en el patio de mi departamento. Una vez atravesada, la mini puerta te conducía a un patio paralelo – que en realidad era el mismo. En apariencia era un patio igual, pero si uno prestaba atención las cosas se comportaban de una manera extraña, casi mágica. El dibujo de las baldosas, por ejemplo, te hipnotizaba y los bichitos de las plantas te leían la mente. Ni que decir si aparecía mi mamá con la leche… me aterrorizaba porque pensaba que era una doble. Solo me podía quedar unos instantes en ese mundo paralelo y luego, corriendo y muerta de miedo, a través de la puertita volvía al patio “de verdad” para tomar la leche con mi mamá real.
Mientras componía Gespleten piano recordé esta anécdota de mi infancia, ya que en mi obra hay dos realidades paralelas: los objetos reales y sus dobles. El espejo repite el espacio visual, los grabadores de cinta duplican el espacio auditivo. También hay objetos gemelos extra musicales Me gusta pensar que en el juego de la obra, no se sabe cuál es la copia y cuál es el original. Me gusta explicar mis obras con anécdotas, porque al igual que las notas de programa, son confusas. Pero son más llevaderas.

• Video (excerpts) by Nora Mulder

Gespleten piano is mentioned in the following article (English and Spanish version of the same article):
My house in a score. Low-tech paraphernalia in chamber music (English) – The ear reader (Dutch online modern music magazine) August 2014 – Link to article in PDF
Mi casa en una partitura. Parafernalia low-tech en música de cámara (Español) – Revista Espacio Sonoro nº 32. Camilo Irizo, editor. Enero 2014Link to article in PDF

Related post/s in my blog (English and Spanish posts):
• “Economy of means – Maastricht preparations” (English)
• “Economía de recursos” (Español)
• “The camping in my life” (Español)
• “Orquestación” (Español)
• “Los sonidos y las cosas” (Español)
• “Barrer en quintillos” (Español)
• “Gespleten piano o el piano escindido” (Español)

Related works:

• Gestalt (2014)
• Esta tarde leo a Adorno/This afternoon I read Adorno (2013)
• Time machine (2011)
• El libro de los gestos / Book of gestures (2008)
• Split piano (2011)
• La arquitectura del aire / The architecture of air (2009)