The Shimmer Beneath: A Scattering Attempt (2019), for cello duo, is inspired by an imaginary scene of light breaking through thick layers of dust with great difficulty. Dust has two different qualities in the piece. The first one is the initial timbral experience in which it is perceived as an almost solid and visible cap over timbre. The second one refers to the lightness and emptiness that allow it to drift. Then, the shimmering beneath finds a way to escape in dust itself, scattering through the refracting power of its rising minute pieces. Consequently, all the instrumental techniques were developed in order to study timbre from the ‘inside’ through a process of dusting. Some unpredictable events reinforce the idea of light in timbre desperately looking to escape from the layers of dust that cover it. This piece is part of my current research on the multidimensionality of timbre, specifically from the study of luminance as one of its semantic dimensions.
Now, you can listen to the recording of a fantastic reading session with Gaia Blandina and Ali Baumann (The Chimera Ensemble) at the University of York in June 2021. Available on SoundCloud:
It’s an enormous pleasure to have the premiere of my piece and it comes like a piece of light through the dust, for solo bass clarinet, which will be online on December 19th 2020 at 8:00 pm (ETS) by the clarinettistChuck Furlong as part of the Verdant Vibes Concert Series.
This work is part of my current PhD Research on timbre, specifically on the study of luminance as the semantic dimension that describes timbre in terms of how brilliant it is. This association with the visual perception led me to propose a scale of two phases that measures the amount and intensity of light in timbre as a compositional strategy. The words used to mark each level reunite the most common descriptors for the perception of luminance that have been recognised through the literature review, the analysis of instrumental repertoire, as well as my own experience and compositional criteria. Thus, the descriptors work as structural points to be reached in the timbral process. The composition was developed through the study of specific clarinet techniques that were recorded and spectrally analysed to recognise the acoustic correlations given in the perception of luminance. The next step was structuring the piece from the articulation of the instrumental techniques in a process of transformation of timbre from the flickering experience of light. Consequently, the piece responds to a transitional process in which timbre seems to be covered by dust, so its unrevealed identity manifests the instability of a faint light that can’t cross. Rather than timbre going to the expected clearness, it is suddenly distorted by an exposure to excessive light, at the end part of it just remains veiled while subtle transformations occur under the volatile presence of dust.
Thanks to Collective Verdant Vibes for giving me the opportunity to be part of this fantastic series of concerts. Thanks to Chuck Furlong for bringing my music to live in this premiere. Cheers!
I had the amazing opportunity to present part of my current compositional research at TIMBRE 2020 2nd International Conference on Timbre during the session of poster presentations on Friday 4th of September.
This solo cello piece is part of my research on mass as a semantic dimension of timbre, specifically from the concept of weight. I explore how weight can be constructed, built, created, controlled, morphed or conducted. Then, the only source of sound becomes multiple through the technical approach and preparation that work as extension of the timbral possibilities of the cello. The structure presents two contrasting points that mark the beginning and the end, understanding the compositional approach as a process of mass (weight) reduction. The weightlessness process works by the division of timbre in several tiny, light pieces that spread away until being lost. However, the unstable nature of the timbres produced by the techniques developed for the piece doesn’t allow to create such a linear process. Instead, fluctuations are given over time, sudden interruptions produced by cycles of energy accumulation that tend to reach the heaviest point of timbre before exploding, leaving its lightest reminiscence.
This composition is the third one in my study of mass as a semantic dimension of timbre, in which I explore the concept of depth as a spatial experience and its consequences in the perception of timbral mass. The title is a verse of the poem ‘The Wind Sleepers’ by Hilda Doolittle (HD) that I take to work on an association between the sleeping experience and depth; so ‘no longer sleep’ means to coming out to the surface of ‘reality’. As a poetical image, wind is a force and, at the same time, space for movement, thus, the title is also a reference to this process of close-up in which timbre disintegrates as distance is reduced, in opposition to the expected revelation of its voluminous expression.
We no longer sleep in the wind, for solo Paetzold double bass recorder, was especially composed for Sylvia Hinz.
This picture was taken in early January while working on the preliminary ideas for the piece. Berlin, 2020.
My first album has been released! It is an online compilation of my electroacoustic works from 2009 to 2017. KEEP ON BREATHING is the title of the first electroacoustic piece that I composed. It is also the title of this timbral exploration journey. These works were composed in different stages of my life, even in different countries, and I can say that they represent my fascination with timbre. In fact, many of the timbral inquiries that I am trying to develop in my instrumental music now come from my experience with electronic processes. You can listen to it on bandcamp (streaming), but if you want you can also download the album or the individual works in high quality here.
I have been commissioned by Collective Lovemusic to compose a piece for Soprano, Alto Flute, Bass Clarinet, and Acoustic Guitar, which will be premiered in Strasbourg as part of the concert ‘Orologio di fuoco’ next January 17th at the National University Library of Strasbourg BNU.
The composition is based on the experience of mass as a timbral dimension. The four instruments determine a space of interaction where the created timbre presents a continuous change of density. The piece is just an attempt to dissipate, not only the tension generated in that process, but the perception of mass in timbre itself, even though it seems to be unbreakable and impossible to disperse.
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.
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.
If you’re interested in the score, you can buy it here!