Anatomy of a jar explores the sound quality of discarded objects, making music with bottles and jars literally rescued from the glass container. These objects refer clearly to a known and familiar world, that through the composition process acquires an abstract and a poetic condition. This piece explores the subtleties of sound, both in the choir and in the objects. These sounds free themselves from their sources,
Anthropology of trash, for amplified alto flute and objects as found in the recycling containers: textiles, glass, plastic, paper, and metal. Anthropology of trash explores the sound quality of discarded objects, making music with bottles and jars literally rescued from the glass container. These objects refer clearly to a known and familiar world, that through the composition process acquires an abstract and a poetic condition. This pieceRead more
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.Read more
Circo Calder is inspired on the Circus by Alexander Calder*, the American sculptor inventor of mobile and kinetic sculptures. Calder used to perform himself a vast, miniature circus conformed by a compendium of ingenious string mechanisms and wire artifacts. These artifacts are represented in my piece with different musical motives, which, like mobiles, spin around in loops. Each motive has it own weight, color, trajectory, and speed.
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 which flow as the reminiscence of a song, the memory of something that never existed.
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.’
This piece 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,Read more
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 workRead more
Cuarteto is inspired on 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
Distancia de rescate is based on the homonymous award-winning novel ("Fever dream" in the English translation) by the Argentine writer Samanta Schweblin. My piece is inspired on the psychological atmosphere of the novel and its fascinating polyphonic structure, which inspired me to write a piece for a big ensemble. In the novel, the characters are attached to each other by a “psychological string” which expands and stretchesRead more
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
"In those days [legendary times of the Yellow Emperor] the world of mirrors and the world of men were not, as they are now, cut off from each other. They were, besides, quite different; neither beings nor colors nor shapes were the same. Both kingdoms, the specular and the human lived in harmony; you could come and go through mirrors. One night the mirror people invaded theRead more
There are four people in a room making music. Each one has a lamp. They play their musical instruments, and they also play the lights, on and off, creating with this action different atmospheres. The staging of the piece is constantly changing, in real-time, by means of the lights. The book of gestures proposes a counterpoint of different layers: the rhythm of the music, the rhythm of
Four musicians in a room play music. Each one has a lamp. Besides the music, the performers “play” the lights on and off during the piece creating different scenes. The space of the stage is always changing because of the lights. This music suggests a counterpoint of different layers: the rhythm of the music, the rhythm of the lights, the rhythm of the room: spaces to be
At café “Lidos”, in Buenos Aires, the Argentine poet Barbara Belloc orally recalls her poem “Esta tarde leo a Adorno”. She remembers and forgets different parts of it, quoting it and reinvent it at the same time, and then she talks about Adorno, Brahms, vinyls and typewriting machines. It is summer in Buenos Aires and the coffee is great. Back in Holland, I start exploring Barbara’s palaceRead more
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
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
At 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 may be also
La madre del río is an anti-percussive piece mostly composed with long sustained sounds with a soft attack, played with the hands, fingers and nails. A set of wine glasses conforms a crystal orchestra tuned in quarter tones which plays together with a glissing vibraphone. Many other instruments in La madre del río are distorted by the literal use of water, which filters their sounds, producing quasi
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
La pieza esta construida en base a la idea de isorritmos. Estas estructuras rítmicas base se repiten constantemente en el discurso de la pieza, a nivel macro (forma de la pieza) y a nivel micro (fraseo). Los isorritmos en si mismos no representan nada, ya que en la pieza aparecen con distintos “contenidos”: distinta instrumentación, tempos, armonías, alturas. No es interesante el concepto del isorritmo en laRead more
Life on Mars is a trip between tonality and micro-tonality. When zooming in from a scale to a single tone and within that single tone to a micro-tone scale, our perception moves progressively deeper and deeper into the sound. Imagine that the perception of tones and micro-tones resembles observing Mars from Earth while getting increasingly closer to its surface; after a while, our eyes can’t embrace the
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
DRINNEN VOR ORT vier Landschaften – vier Jahreszeiten – vier Wege Die Klangspuren in unseren Köpfen – auch 20 Jahre Festival Rümlingen haben ihnen einige hinzugefügt. Jetzt sollen sie aktiviert werden, unsere inneren Lieder, und zwar an den schönsten Orten der Rümlinger Umgebung, an Orten zudem, die vom «Mythos Rümlingen», von Momenten der Festivalgeschichte, durchweht sind.
The whole piece represents a map drawn with sounds. It comprehends different sections: water, metal, wood and skin, modulating from one texture to another in analogy to a traveler exploring different geographies. Four bags full of water are constantly dropping from the beginning until the end of the piece, adding a rhythmical “water-envelope” and a strong visual component.
Musique concrète makes music with second-hand objects, mostly bought in the markets or rescued from the trash. Two performers manipulate sound objects and slide-projectors in different spots of a dark room, producing performative installations in dialogue with the architecture of the space. Music, sound, and space design are organized in a score creating complete audiovisual scenes with simple means.
Out loud is a music piece in the shape of a strainer where most of the sounds have gone away. The main composing was intentionally erased and only the leftovers of a gone piece survive, the unwanted, the declassed sounds. I say voiceless: I don’t want to write one more piece. The music vanished and we are facing now its remains: breaths, movements, mistaken notes, eye contact.
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.
Palabras (words) is a piece which work with words in two different ways: a) “Palabras” as sounds: the texture of the spoken language, the inflections of the human voice. Words as colors; b) “Palabras” as syntax: words combination create structures and musical grammar: linearity, polyphony, etc. Words as architecture. The piece is divided in five different blocks of spoken language that goes from the proper spoken voiceRead more
Xenakis´music is organized and visceral at the same time. And quoting the Greek (sorry for the easy association!), Xenakis breaks the commonplace conception of Apollo as an opposite of Dionysus. The guts of Dionysus and the arrow of Apollo converse. The warmth of wine, the dance, the beast come together with the intellectual distance, the direction, and predetermination of the archer. Gabriel Valverde, my composition teacher, usedRead more
This cycle of pieces (five in total) is inspired by the renaissance Flemish composers and their use of mirror techniques. All the recordings (tape) are made on vinyl. The inclusion of real mirrors on stage creates not only visual duplications but a blind spot behind. The two performers have a different setup for each piece of the program playing with the mirror but also taking different locationsRead more
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
TThe piece is inspired on the dialectical relationship between chaos and order, being the mathematical structure the frame for aleatoric behaviors mainly from the percussion set: ping pong balls falling (the classical example from the chaos theory), water flowing, peas poured from one tin to another, spoken texts, etc. All framed in a strict counterpoint of drops, whispers and a balloon exploding.
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
A duo for harp and percussion the instruments realm is extended to the world of objects. Metrical metronomes, dropping stones, paper sounds aim to create an aural situation where the theater is acted by the sound. Magic in the context of this work could be understood like alchemy. The two sorcerers work in counterpoint in their music spells. The sound is not transmuted into gold but into
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
The human skin has its sonic representation on the whole orchestra like a flexible and elastic body, represented by big percussion instruments: timpani, thunder sheet, bass drum, lion’s roar, and tam-tam Big surfaces of skin, wood, metal, string and paper are hit, rubbed, stroked, scratched, and touched with the fingers by the percussionists, echoed by the rest of the orchestra. It is a “concerto” for big surfaces,
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
The inspiration for this piece came from the observation of a picture of “von Karman Vortex Street” where, under certain circumstances, a complex spiral drawing turns into a fluid stream. The idea of this twisted pattern changing in time, both in length and in its internal speed, could be translated into musical terms under different perspectives. From this physic phenomenon, I took the idea of this always-expanding