: Elementi di Forma (2000/2001) :
  sample
for prepared cello and digital manipulation
dur.: 13' 
 

elementi di forma - sketch

The work was composed expressly for Francesco Dillon. In the electronics part of the work over four hundred sound samples played by Dillon have been processed, using almost exclusively a special device for stringed instruments. This device was designed by
Mario Bertoncini in 1992 and patented by him the following year under the name STABDÄMPFER (bar sordino). The samples were recorded at the electroacoustic laboratory of the
Akademie der Künste in Berlin.

Apparently for a singular dialectic inversion, but in reality as the result of the explicit wish of the composer to exercise complete control of the performance, the work - on hearing it - is ascribable to the "Informal", given the microtonal harmonic substance and the absence of clearly identifiable rhythmic figures. An in-depth analysis of the work reveals, instead, a complex serial structure that combines the magic square of Jove matrix with the matrix comprising the first six figures of the Fibonacci sequence. As this sequence is derived by proportional affinity with the numerical ratios of the golden section and the duration of the work is represented by the sum total of the figures of the square of Jove, fragmented in its turn by a canonic structure which also includes alternate moments of rest, the composer has consequently organized, according to the proportions of the golden section, also the reciprocal relationship between live instrumental sections and pre-recorded material sections.

But this is not all. Halfway through the piece, canonic forms can be found between live instrument and recorded material as well as the use of palindromic and canonic structures which accompany the work right up to the end. In addition, to keep the record straight, it should be added that at matrix level a third dimension, represented by the organization of the letters making up the name BACH, transposed and organized in three sections for a total of twelve different sounds, completes dialectically a yet further stylistic refutation of the informal content of the piece, which nevertheless remains undeniable.

With regard to the relevance of the use of dodecaphonic/serial structures, allow me to recall at this point that if it is true that the entire work makes use of a microtonal harmonic fabric - that is, based on untempered intervals - it is equally true that our perception as western musicians never succeeds in reaching an absolute valuation per se of thirds of a tone and quarter tones: for the western musician, a quarter tone below or above a given frequency always presupposes the reference to a known quantity, the tempered interval.

For the digital processing of the recorded part, I have used exclusively (as I have already mentioned) the concrete sound of the bar sordino no. 1 without any recourse whatsoever to midi or synthetic processes. The work, with brief interruptions, was carried out almost daily from December 2000 to June 2001 at a private laboratory (of composer Christian Messer).

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