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).