Few months ago, I had a really good time talking with Robert McClure about my music and my experience as a composer. Now, it’s a pleasure to share our conversation for ADJ•ective New Music Podcast, Lexical Tones.
If you want to listen to it, follow this link to SoundCloud: Lexical Tones 111. Michele Abondano
This octophonic electroacoustic composition explores the possibilities to destroy the aesthetic, technical and conceptual referents that traditionally use to condition the perceptual experience of the world. The sound material invites to a personal interaction from the abolition of any qualifier systematically established. In this piece, something that could be understood as a failed attempt manifests itself in its uniqueness as the essence of being from a particular necessity of transformation. Destruction of the imaginary (English translation of the title) is created as a freedom statement from the perception and understanding of our own existence.
Although I composed this work in 2017, the premiere had to wait for two years! Now, I am extremely happy to tell you that it can be listened in concert by the first time (stereo version) thanks to UL -música mixta- that has programmed it in a concert on October 6th as part of the activities of the Mixed Media Composition School organised by Casataller in Bolivia.
This piece for soprano saxophone and viola is part of my research on luminance as one of the ‘semantic’ dimensions of timbre that accounts for the amount and intensity of light that is perceived in it.
Spending hours working next to a window while it was raining, I recognised in it a kind of filter and distortion effect. From this perspective, the piece is structured in five uninterrupted sections that explore the heavy falling rain, when there is also mist, that thick and untouchable presence that fills a space and prevents us from seeing the other side, turning everything into faint images, like pieces of something that has no form at all, almost vanished, but still there. There is also and exploration of the moment immediately after the rain stops, when everything is wet and many drops cover the windows through which everything is perceived diffused and blurred, covered by a halo of the past, but also when light is wide reflected and refracted at the same time, spreading its presence as distorted pieces of something that shine ambiguously.
You can listen to the unofficial recording of the premiere on SoundCloud:
Distorted Pieces of Something. Study on Light (when it rains)
Thanks to Wojtek Psiuk (soprano sax) and Aleksandra Demowska-Madejska (viola) for the amazing job at the Synthetis Composition Course 2019.
The clink of the spoon in your coffee is a line of a poem written by William Carlos Williams (“A Goodnight”). The piece is part of a period of exploration of the relationship between poetical images and sound. It is not a programmatic work, instead it is an attempt of timbral composition inspired in the imaginary soundscape of a poem. In this case, I felt very attracted to the intimacy, the subtlety in the development of each gesture. In this composition, the three instruments (alto flute, bass clarinet and violin) are articulated in a process of timbral exploration that generates brief percussive attacks and extended resonances in constant transformation.
It is a great satisfaction to invite you to the premier by the great collective lovemusic on July 12th, 2019 at the BNU Strasbourg National University Library Auditorium.
My work ‘Infinitely ethereal’ for solo Bassoon (2018) will be premiered by the amazing bassoonist Rebekah Heller (International Contemporary Ensemble ICE) at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music next Friday, October 26th.
This piece is inspired in a fragment of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway: “and lit in him such a fire as burns only once in a lifetime, without heat, flickering a red gold flame infinitely ethereal and insubstantial […].”
The way in which she describes that volatile condition made me think about the constant interaction of uncontrolled and unexpected forces in a wide range of possibilities. Consequently, I assumed the low register and the physical experience of the corporeal attributes of the instrument (size, shape, material) as images of the strength and power of such a passion. Also, I follow the idea of fragility, the flickering flame, to approach ethereal qualities of the bassoon’s sound through diverse techniques that allowed me to work on the complexity of its movement and transformation to create unstable and unique timbres.
With enormous satisfaction I share the publication of my article “El timbre: noción y experiencia creativa” [Timbre: Notion and Creative Experience] in the journal Ensayos: Historia y Teoría del Arte Vol. 21 N° 33. Institute of Aesthetics Research, Faculty of Arts, Universidad Nacional de Colombia [Article in Spanish].
This article corresponds to the first chapter of my Master’s Thesis: Reflexiones sobre el proceso creativo de un ciclo de piezas transmediales y colaborativas, articuladas por la exploración tímbrica a través de la interacción del sonido y el movimiento [Reflections about the creative process of a cycle of transmedial and collaborative pieces, articulated by the timbral exploration through sound and movement interaction]. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Mexico, 2015.
All the pieces of this research are available on my vimeo channel: https://vimeo.com/micheleabondano
Thanks for reading!
I have been awarded an AHC Doctoral Research Scholarship granted by the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures of the University of Leeds (UK) to pursue a PhD in Composition with composers Martin Iddon and Scott Mc Laughlin as thesis supervisors. It will be my first experience of life outside Latin America. I am extremely happy to start this new stage of my career in September. I am deeply grateful!