Cecilia Arditto Delsoglio

Post Term: English

The dearest dream (2018)

anti concerto for percussion and ensemble of 10 instruments
2nd prize Wilde Lieder Marx Competition by the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group

The dearest dream is an anti-concerto for simple means based on concepts by Karl Marx.
The music has 4 sections displaying different relationships between the soloist and the ensemble.
I. Dialectic of the strings, a string-telephone quartet is in dialogue with the ensemble strings.
2. The song of the land makes music with grains.
3. The man (repetition and alienation) where the percussionist sweeps the concert hall floor with a broom.
4. The machine is characterized by 4 electric fans with rotating heads.

The sound architecture of The dearest dream is based mainly on one note: it uses the spectrum of the note F-1, starting with A 440 (20th overtone) which progressively opens to the complete overtone series.
The sound changes during the piece from sine wave at the beginning to noise at the end, making changes in color but always respecting the overtone hierarchy. The rhythms used in the piece are mainly repeated notes, just slight fluctuations of the fixed sounds: in other words, they represent variations over the same. The whole ensemble play basically only one note and its overtones represents the tradition that perpetuates itself (status quo), leading to movement but without real changes. The dialogue with the outside objects breaks the fixed order bringing an unorthodox musical dialogue. The percussion plays diverse objects that impregnate the rest of the music. He is a soloist, or better said, an anti-soloist. Some members of the ensemble also play some objects apart from their instruments, to show some sympathy to the percussionist.

• Audio
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Related post/s in my blog
“Barrer en quintillos” (Spanish)

Related works:
• Tissue (2019)
• Anthropology of trash (2020)

Las trampas del tiempo / traps of time (2011)

for early music ensemble and voices
based on texts by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
commissioned by Borealis Festival, Norway

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 like to think about the mechanism of time as a switch with a bad contact that turns randomly the light on and off. We are in an intermittent room where the chairs, the stage, the instruments appear and disappear in flashes of sense; the full picture of the continuous space is only in our minds; the real space is in fact fragmented, full of emptiness. The present is even more ungraspable than the past.

Time is a bunch of threads all tied up together with our precarious mind mechanisms, wrapping the emptiness around with more hope than certainties. Most of the time, time is about jumps or just a continuous waiting we attempt to fill with notes. But when more notes, more emptiness.

As in a science fiction movie, the music I am imagining is related to the idea of teleportation where remote music from the XVII century travels through time to nowadays, but for some inner mechanism of the travel process, the essence has been altered.

The new space of reproduction is also different from that original one, so the old music lands in a fragmented present. In this distorted present, full of inhabited spaces, a record player inside the harpsichord talks like a guitar; some instruments are activated from the distance and old cassette tapes are reflecting the other music like acoustical mirrors, express not only the shade of early voices but also the alteration of time itself.

The new landing experience from the XVII music failed and music is hence spread on a present that is also fragmented, full of holes. But the travel was not about the historical reproduction of a past forever gone. It was mainly about showing the backstage of our present, which is so discontinuous, distorted and fragmented as the past we recall. Maybe this music is not about a specific time location, even not about a dialogue, but about the mysterious nature of time itself.


Related post/s in my blog:
“Las trampas del tiempo” (English)





I love you (2016)

for flute, guitar, tape, slides and objects
for Luis Orias Diz and Alu Montorfano

I found a collection of slides in a flea market in Holland. The slides reflect a house being remodeled. No holidays, no people, no landscapes. Electric installations, wallpaper being ripped, traps and a gas meter.
In the ’60s, people were really careful about taking pictures, different from the click and through away of the digital pictures.
The story behind is unknown. Just I’ve got images of an empty house in remodeling.  The slides show a garden, a window, gas and electricity meters, a ladder, the bedroom.
In these scenarios, a man and a woman play music. They make music in counterpoint with the electricity sounds, they sing together with the gas pipes and play pianissimos in synchronization with the wallpaper that slowly, maybe for decades, is falling down.

• Audio files

Related post/s in my blog
“I love you too” (Español)
“La vida de los otros” (Español)

Gestalt (2014)

for piano and percussion
dedicated to duo Cuenco de plata – Juanita Fernández y Malena Levín

Gestalt shows diverse forms of communication between two performers and how each way of relating generates different music structures (Gestalt). In between music, sound, and space design, Gestalt is music in the form of a treatise to be perceived in-between categories.

The piece is based on 10 sections in the form of scenes. Each scene speaks about different ways of relationships between performers, their link with objects, musical instruments and the design of the stage, which is changing over time.

  1. Proximity: Close objects conform a group
  2. Continuation: Moving objects conform a line
  3. Focal point – Point of interest captures attention
  4. Good continuation. Grouping parts into a unique whole
  5. Common region- Events are related when in the same area
  6. Figure and ground
  7. Similarity – Similar features link events
  8. Symmetry – Looking for balance in composition
  9. Common fate
  10. Past experiences

• Video

Related post/s in my blog
 “Si están cerca… Montevideo” (Español)
“Again” (Español)
“Trayectorias” (Español)

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Related works:

• The magic (2005)
• Esta tarde leo a Adorno / This afternoon I read Adorno (2013)

• Time machine (2011)
• Gespleten piano
• Split piano (2011)

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

for bass clarinet, piano and double bass
dedicated to Low Frequency Trio
winner of the Low Frequency Trio competition

Viaje de las frecuencias en el agua (Travel of frequencies on the water) was inspired by von Karman vortex street’s theory, which studies repeated patterns in fluids, as swirling spirals in smoke rings or winds surrounding a tropical cyclone.
In my piece, the fluid medium is the water, played in a literal way by using a straw and a siphon; the bass clarinet is also prepared with water inside its bell, which causes fascinating acoustical phenomena. In analogy with von Karman’s theory, which amalgams the vulnerability of fluids with the power of the force that molds them, my music combines the fragility of sound with the solid rhythmical structure of the music.
Viaje de las frecuencias en el agua is dedicated to my father, eternal lover of the utopias of Jules Verne and to trioLF3, my musical submarine.

• Audio
• Video

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Related post/s in my blog

“Las versiones y las obras” (English)

Related works:
• La madre del río / the mother of the river (1997 – rev. 1999)
• Maps of the Water (2007)



Palabras / Words (2005)

for soprano, viola, baritone saxophone and 1/16th tone piano.
comissioned by NFPK, Holland

Palabras uses words in two different ways: words as sounds, and words as meaning.
Written for 1/16 tone piano, saxophone, viola and voice, the microtonal division of the tones remains the fluctuation of the spoken voice.

The piece is divided into five different blocks of spoken language that go from the proper spoken voice (Part IV) to a melodic line (part II) which is sung by the four instruments. Every block or surface has a different quality in relation to different kinds of discourse.
Julian Carrillo,s  1/16 tone piano was a primary inspiration for this piece and its relation to the spoken voice. The microtonal divisions of the piano are in the frequency range of the spoken language.

• Audio
• Video (excerpts)
• Analysis
• Press

Related works:

• Música invisible for flute (2003)
• Life on Mars (2016)

Lijnen (2004)

for trombone, viola, contrabass flute  and 4 magic lanterns
comissioned by Stichting Kous

In Lijnen sound and image are together sharing a common language in the same level of hierarchy. In collaboration with visual artist Ida Lohman, image and sound work in a one-to-one relationship. Lijnen uses a significantly reduced palette of materials: seven different images and four sounds for three instruments (viola, trombone and contrabass flute). The combination of few elements allows multiple possibilities. Simple and complex. In this piece, both music and image are played in real-time.

• Video

Related post/s in my blog
“Preguntas” (Español)

Related works:
• Musique Concrète -project page

Dos #1 (2011) and Dos #2 (2015)

Dos #1 for voice and two pickup players (or tape)
commissioned by Stichting Plan B, Amsterdam
Dos #2 for violin, cello and two pickup players (or tape)
commissioned by DieOrdnungDerDinge, Berlin

Working with recordings brings the possibility to recall different versions of the same piece. Old voices are in counterpoint with the live performance and the music splits into diverse historical lines. As a science fiction movie, the past converges with the present: in an ex-temporary gesture, Schumann is reflected on vinyl, the future for him.
In classical musical instruments, model, year, material, and builder have an enormous impact on the characteristics of their sound. The same happens with domestic appliances: every model, every speaker, every decade, brings its own particular sound.
These domestic appliances are generally built to be used at home and not in a stage. In this music -never better employed the term chamber music- domestic appliances bring the atmosphere of a house to the stage.
Devices are in dialogue with live instruments or the human voice in a “concerto” form. A historical pre-recorded vinyl version of Schumann´s Carnival is manipulated live in a “live electronics” DJ style.
The name Dos (two) refers to the sad bipolar condition attributed to Schumann. Two pickup players, slightly out of synch, build a psychological atmosphere full of distorted mirrors.


Program notes  for Dos #2  DieOrdnungDerDinge, Berlin June 2016 (in Spanish)
Colección de piezas compuestas en base al “Carnaval” de Robert Schumann. Música para violin, cello  y dos tocadiscos.

Este concierto se basa grabaciones en vinilo de música de Robert Schumann en contrapunto con nueva música compuesta por Cecilia Arditto para instrumentos en vivo. 
La grabación histórica congela una versión específica de la música que dialoga en vivo con otro presente musical en una clara metáfora sobre el tiempo: un tiempo congelado en contrapunto con un tiempo  nuevo.
Los tocadiscos son considerados también instrumentos musicales. Además de reproducir una grabación específica, cada tocadiscos, tiene un sonido particular en sí mismo, un aura, una historia que  imprime una cualidad especial en el sonido reproducido, trayendo no solo las grabaciones del pasado, sino sus características de reproducción.
Las grabaciones originales del Carnaval de Schumann están procesadas en vivo, utilizando los recursos propios de los tocadiscos: alteración del volumen, tono y distintas velocidades (16-33 ½, 45 y 78) y manipulación del vinilo, scratches, ruidos con la púa, etc, en un estilo “low-tech DJ”.
Dos esta  basada en el número Chopin del Carnaval op.9 de Schumann, reproducida en dos tocadiscos con grabaciones idénticas en un juego de velocidades cambiantes (16, 33 ½, 45 y 78 rpm) en contrapunto con  los instrumentos en vivo. Dos remite a la condición bipolar de Schumann y su diálogo constante con sus “alter egos” presentes en su producción musical.



1. Overview

2. Buttons

3. Pitch

4. Finger gliss.

5. Speed

6. Speakers

Improvisation with pickups and props

 Muziek als vinyls & tapes: Ratatouille TV- Amsterdam

Dos #1:

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Dos #2:
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Comic book (2011)

for clarinet and slide projector
It can also be played with any other melodic instrument

This project is a collection of small pieces, where the live process image from the projectors is in counterpoint with the clarinet and cassette players. It is a book with different episodes in between formats,  austere exercises on image and sound, made with analog means: slides, strings, and live music.

Comic book is inspired by the first animation film pioneers like Norman McLaren and his inspiring work on step motion techniques. McLaren was also a pioneer in image and sound research composing visual music and graphical sound. My Comic Book shows these “step motion techniques” in a live version: the black box is just in front of the audience´s eyes.


Text invitation for the premiere in Amsterdam

15 april 19:00 – 22:00
Kulter. Sanderijnstraat 21. Amsterdam West

In the context of the presentation of the book “Notations” in Ámsterdam I would like to invite you to the performance of my new piece  “Comic book” (comic in Spanish is also funny) for clarinet and slide projectors. In this occasion we will introduce three episodes of this book: #1. Geometry counterpoint; #2. Solfege lesson and #3. Dancing staff in honor of the Notation book.  Everything home made with tinny recycled papers and slide projectors bought in Dutch markets for maximun 15 euros price (ticket is 5!).

The air around (2012)

for 13 prepared electric fans

In my orchestration book, electric fans are classified in diverse instrumental families considering diverse features: they undoubtedly belong to the wind family; they are on top of that, noise generators; from a kinetic perspective they are members of the instruments “that spins around.” Multiple interpretations of the same allow a special interconnection between objects, spreading the chamber music experience into a unique personal listening.

“A choir of small ventilators, that like a mechanical garden, move their heads bringing sound and movement to the music.”

The more concrete, the more abstract

Rather than prescribing an ideal music of the future, Schaeffer’s didacticism
requires us to submit to a process in which sound is re-imagined or experienced anew, and new effects of listening are discovered and learned.

 Ian Stevenson, Schaeffer’s sound effects

The fan is attached to the sounds as much of the sound is attached to the fan. We cannot conceive the machine without the sound, or the sound without the machine: one refers to the other. But when the fan is on stage making music, the sound appears to lose its inherent connection to its source and becomes an independent phenomenon: we start hearing the fan as a music instrument. After this switch in our mind, we can focus on the sound itself: its overtones, pitch, colored noise, residual tones, and all kinds of glorious “side- effects”. Curious enough, the production of fresh air, the main purpose in any electric fan, becomes something completely irrelevant. When the fan goes musical, the sound can be undoubtedly routed with its source without losing its identity: it looks like a fan, it sounds like a fan, it is a fan!. Even the modifications applied to the sound by the use of “extended techniques” enhancing and preserve the nature of the sound as two sides of the same process.

“everyday listening, which identifies sound sources as objects or events; and musical listening, which focuses on the intrinsic properties or features of sounds.”

William Gaver, How do we hear in the world?

When a fan is performing in a concert hall, this new context brings new associations and displacements in our minds. We can concentrate more easily on the sounds because the device is on stage. Same as we focus on the textures, colors, size, and position of Duchamp’s porcelain urinal because it is shown in an art gallery. Context is substantial.

Matter matters
What is music? What is a sound object? This unanswered question triggers all kinds of different theories and works, inspiring not only the composition of new music but mainly changing our way of listening.

• Video (excerpts)
• Photo gallery

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