Breakdown

Breakdown is a mechanical failure. This idea of ‘malfunction’ is the main concept of the piece from a technical and aesthetical perspective. Both instruments (tenor recorder and oboe) are thought of as parts of a machine that is about to collapse. However, this composition also recalls a human emotional crisis, the overwhelming feeling of being unable to control or achieve something deeply desired in life. Consequently, each instrumental technique is developed in detail to be perceived as a failed attempt to make it work.

XelmYa (Freddi Börnchen and Sylvia Hinz)

This is a composition from 2021, commissioned by the amazing ensemble XelmYa.

No Construction Is Whole

For bass clarinet, double bass, piano and electronics (2022).

The title is a reflexion taken from the essay ‘A Cyborg Manifest’, written by Donna Haraway, which becomes the conceptual frame of a series of pieces I started to compose this year. Haraway writes, ‘Cyborg feminists have to argue that “we” do not want any more natural matrix of unity and that no construction is whole.’ (2016, p. 21). Thus, this composition is an exploration of the relation between concepts like organism-machine, physical-non-physical, and natural-artificial. Through the analysis of the apparent opposition it surges a construction of fundamental connexions, which attempt the expansion of the technical, aesthetical and existential boundaries. Conceptually, the difference between the live performance (acoustic, natural) and electronics (digital, artificial) transfigure into a new timbral experience through the interaction of the harmonic spectra and their mutual alteration in the acoustic space of the instruments.

Score excerpt from ‘No Construction Is Whole’.

Ibermúsicas Prize of Composition and Premiere of Work

It is an enormous happiness that my piece ‘Estudio tímbrico de lo efímero y volátil’ has been one of the winners of the Ibermúsicas Prize of Composition and Premiere of Work 2022, and I am so grateful to share this recognition with the wonderful ensemble Suono Mobile Argentina.

It has been several months of intense collaborative work, which we will share next year with the public of Córdoba in concert and other activities that we are planing. This is the first prize I receive in my career, and it means so much that it has been for this collaboration because it was in Argentina where I started my compositional studies.

Score excerpt from ‘Estudio tímbrico de lo efímero y volátil’.

The Inconvenience of Loving a Flickering Creature

This composition for viola with amplification is an exploration of the fluctuation of light and its fragility as a timbral condition, something to be heard instead of being seen. Here, I am especially interested in discovering new technical possibilities to approach the viola, that is, the recognition of each of its parts from the diversity of its materiality (shape, size, surface, depth, resonance, etc.). Furthermore, I look for an understanding of the corporal interaction between the performer and multiple objects of different characteristics that can be used to generate and modulate specific timbral conditions associated to the perception of light as a dynamic entity. The amplification in this piece works as a multidimensional extension for the timbral experience created live by the prepared viola played on stage, thus the acoustic sound is integrated with the stereo spatialisation of the amplified signal, contributing to the perception of the piece as a unique timbre in itself. From a creative perspective, there is an association with an imaginary elusive creature, continuously flickering, changing shapes and textures, enlarging or disappearing, nervously moving or mysteriously staying still.

Aleksandra Demowska-Madejska performing ‘The Inconvenience of Loving a Flickering Creature’ at the Poznańska Wiosna Muzyczna 2022. Picture by Bartók Seifert

This piece was commissioned by Aleksandra Demowska-Madejska for her solo project ‘The Unusual Matter’ with the support of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage under the “Composing Orders” programme implemented by the National Institute of Music and Dance of Poland. The premiere took place at the International Festival of Contemporary Music Poznańska Wiosna Muzyczna 2022 (51st Poznań Music Spring Festival).