present otherness

for stereo tape

2007-08   11' 10"   pub: Composer

In 2007 Jonathan Harvey invited me to write a work for tape based on trumpet samples played by Markus Stockhausen for his piece “other presences”. The condition being to use only the studio recording of the trumpet. When listening to the trumpet recordings I decided to dismantle the original phrases and manipulate the spectral characteristics of single sounds in order to create new sounds and reconstruct a new music from scratch. The only exception being two phrases which I processed after leaving them in the original form. Firstly, I established eight textural categories of the original music: nine single notes, flatter-tongues, short phrases, long phrases, repeated and grace notes, “many notes”, “short notes” (including eight scales) and glissandi. I concentrated on the spectral content of nine pitches extracted from their original setting (a-flat, g-flat, c, b-flat, c-sharp, e-flat, e, f, a). By blending and reordering their partials, I created hybrid sounds and merged them with two melodic phrases of the recording, modified and transposed to extreme ranges. An example of such extreme transpositions can be heard at the beginning of the piece. With “present otherness” I wanted to investigate the dichotomy of a “present” perception of reality, meaning the sensorial level of awareness, and an-“other” more elusive quality of extended perception linked to the experience of a more metaphysical dimension of life. An “otherness” experienced as “present” in a truly phenomenological sense, no longer alien, but an-“other” manifestation of the magical essence we originate from. Thus the here-there, near-far, loud-soft, action-stasis, fast-slow dialectics of an ever-interacting duality may become a scenario for the surreal to become real and viceversa. “Present otherness” is available on the CD “Other Presences”(by Jonathan Harvey) released by Sargasso, Cat. No. SCD28057.


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