Cecilia Arditto

Post Term: 2018

Distancia de rescate (2018)

for 8 low strings based on the homonymous novel by Samanta Schweblin
commissioned by Innovations in Concert, Montreal

Distancia de rescate is based on the homonymous award-winning novel (“Fever dream” in the English translation) by the Argentine writer Samanta Schweblin. My piece is inspired by the psychological atmosphere of the novel and its fascinating polyphonic structure, which inspired me to write a piece for a big ensemble.
In the novel, the characters are attached to each other by a “psychological string” which expands and stretches depending on emotional content, mostly related to fear. In my composition, the cellos are physically attached to each other by strings, one resonating on another. Extra pieces of strings tied to the instruments bridges and tailpieces connect literally each other occupying the stage.
Distancia de rescate is also a trip inside the deep heart of the string. Its sound world is based on the natural harmonic series, finding unexpected patterns in the upper harmonic series of the string. These bright and fragile sounds are like crystals found in the earthy residual tones of the strings.
• Video

Related works:

• Música invisible for cello (2008-2018)
• Circo Calder (2000)
• #4. “Electricité” from Musique Concrète -project page

Download score PDF

Send download link to:

 

 

Distancia de rescate, for 8 low strings, stage disposition.

 

 

 

 

Distancia de rescate (2018)

Distancia de rescate (2018)

for 8 low strings based on the homonymous novel by Samanta Schweblin
commissioned by Innovations in Concert, Montreal
• Program notes
• Video

Download score PDF

Send download link to:

Spiegeltjes (little mirrors) (2016)

5 pieces for clarinet, tape and objects
The tape can be replaced by a second clarinet OR by any other melodic instrument: transpositions can be applied.
The different pieces of this project can be played as a cycle or individually.

This cycle of pieces (five in total) is inspired by the renaissance Flemish composers and their use of mirror techniques. Most of them are written for a solo instrument in dialogue with a tape/vinyl pre-recorded by the same instrument. Duo versions replacing the recording for a second player, are very welcome.

The music score is not published yet. Please send me an email if you are interested in this work.

# 1. Spiegeltjes / little mirrors: is symmetrically split into two equal parts with a vertical line, organizing the musical material with retrogrades and inversion techniques. On a smaller scale, the clarinet plays in counterpoint with itself conforming little mirrors which are expressed in groups of notes with stems up and down.

# 2. Snel / fast: the recorded clarinet is partially duplicated by the live clarinet creating a new melody (a mirror with holes). Mirrors are not only present in the music but they also reflect the acoustical space. This intriguing “quasi unison” shapes the harmony of the piece. It is advisable to explore the acoustics of the hall finding the most appropriate location for both performers, which will be different in every venue.

#3. Zand / sand: the pre-recorded clarinet plays in counterpoint with the live one in canon. The multiphonic chords are shaped by this written delay creating interesting harmonies.

#4. Tekening / drawing: (two players), the flutists and a drawer who draws in the mirror in synch with the clarinet.

#5. Terug / backward: an evergoing melody is played back and forth, written in classical retrograde style.

The inclusion of real mirrors on stage creates not only visual duplications but a blind spot behind. The two performers have a different setup for each piece of the program playing with the mirror but also taking different locations on the space. Simple movements create very different scenarios and emphasize the acoustics of the hall in a “hide and seek” but “always listening” game.

Spiegeltjes stage design – practical and flexible

The dearest dream (2018)

anti concerto for percussion and ensemble of 10 instruments
2nd prize Wilde Lieder Marx Competition by the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group

The dearest dream is an anti-concerto for simple means based on concepts by Karl Marx.
The music has 4 sections displaying different relationships between the soloist and the ensemble.
I. Dialectic of the strings, a string-telephone quartet is in dialogue with the ensemble strings.
2. The song of the land makes music with grains.
3. The man (repetition and alienation) where the percussionist sweeps the concert hall floor with a broom.
4. The machine is characterized by 4 electric fans with rotating heads.

The sound architecture of The dearest dream is based mainly on one note: it uses the spectrum of the note F-1, starting with A 440 (20th overtone) which progressively opens to the complete overtone series.
The sound changes during the piece from sine wave at the beginning to noise at the end, making changes in color but always respecting the overtone hierarchy. The rhythms used in the piece are mainly repeated notes, just slight fluctuations of the fixed sounds: in other words, they represent variations over the same. The whole ensemble play basically only one note and its overtones represents the tradition that perpetuates itself (status quo), leading to movement but without real changes. The dialogue with the outside objects breaks the fixed order bringing an unorthodox musical dialogue. The percussion plays diverse objects that impregnate the rest of the music. He is a soloist, or better said, an anti-soloist. Some members of the ensemble also play some objects apart from their instruments, to show some sympathy to the percussionist.

• Audio
• Video
• Press

Download score PDF

Send download link to:

Related post/s in my blog
“Barrer en quintillos” (Spanish)

Related works:
• Tissue (2019)
• Anthropology of trash (2020)

Las trampas del tiempo / traps of time (2011)

for early music ensemble and voices
based on texts by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
commissioned by Borealis Festival, Norway

The true picture of the past whizzes by. Only as a picture, which flashes its final farewell in the moment of its recognizability, is the past to be held fast.

Walter Benjamin “On the concept of history”

I like to think about the mechanism of time as a switch with a bad contact that turns randomly the light on and off. We are in an intermittent room where the chairs, the stage, the instruments appear and disappear in flashes of sense; the full picture of the continuous space is only in our minds; the real space is in fact fragmented, full of emptiness. The present is even more ungraspable than the past.

Time is a bunch of threads all tied up together with our precarious mind mechanisms, wrapping the emptiness around with more hope than certainties. Most of the time, time is about jumps or just a continuous waiting we attempt to fill with notes. But when more notes, more emptiness.

As in a science fiction movie, the music I am imagining is related to the idea of teleportation where remote music from the XVII century travels through time to nowadays, but for some inner mechanism of the travel process, the essence has been altered.

The new space of reproduction is also different from that original one, so the old music lands in a fragmented present. In this distorted present, full of inhabited spaces, a record player inside the harpsichord talks like a guitar; some instruments are activated from the distance and old cassette tapes are reflecting the other music like acoustical mirrors, express not only the shade of early voices but also the alteration of time itself.

The new landing experience from the XVII music failed and music is hence spread on a present that is also fragmented, full of holes. But the travel was not about the historical reproduction of a past forever gone. It was mainly about showing the backstage of our present, which is so discontinuous, distorted and fragmented as the past we recall. Maybe this music is not about a specific time location, even not about a dialogue, but about the mysterious nature of time itself.

 

Related post/s in my blog:
“Las trampas del tiempo” (English)

 

 

 

 

I love you (2016)

for flute, guitar, tape, slides and objects
for Luis Orias Diz and Alu Montorfano

I found a collection of slides in a flea market in Holland. The slides reflect a house being remodeled. No holidays, no people, no landscapes. Electric installations, wallpaper being ripped, traps and a gas meter.
In the ’60s, people were really careful about taking pictures, different from the click and through away of the digital pictures.
The story behind is unknown. Just I’ve got images of an empty house in remodeling.  The slides show a garden, a window, gas and electricity meters, a ladder, the bedroom.
In these scenarios, a man and a woman play music. They make music in counterpoint with the electricity sounds, they sing together with the gas pipes and play pianissimos in synchronization with the wallpaper that slowly, maybe for decades, is falling down.

• Audio files

Related post/s in my blog
“I love you too” (Español)
“La vida de los otros” (Español)

Gestalt (2014)

for piano and percussion
dedicated to duo Cuenco de plata – Juanita Fernández y Malena Levín

Gestalt shows diverse forms of communication between two performers and how each way of relating generates different music structures (Gestalt). In between music, sound, and space design, Gestalt is music in the form of a treatise to be perceived in-between categories.

The piece is based on 10 sections in the form of scenes. Each scene speaks about different ways of relationships between performers, their link with objects, musical instruments and the design of the stage, which is changing over time.

  1. Proximity: Close objects conform a group
  2. Continuation: Moving objects conform a line
  3. Focal point – Point of interest captures attention
  4. Good continuation. Grouping parts into a unique whole
  5. Common region- Events are related when in the same area
  6. Figure and ground
  7. Similarity – Similar features link events
  8. Symmetry – Looking for balance in composition
  9. Common fate
  10. Past experiences

• Video

Related post/s in my blog
 “Si están cerca… Montevideo” (Español)
“Again” (Español)
“Trayectorias” (Español)

Download score PDF

Send download link to:

Related works:

• The magic (2005)
• Esta tarde leo a Adorno / This afternoon I read Adorno (2013)

• Time machine (2011)
• Gespleten piano
• Split piano (2011)

Viaje de las frecuencias en el agua / Travel of frequencies on the water (2018)

for bass clarinet, piano and double bass
dedicated to Low Frequency Trio
winner of the Low Frequency Trio competition

Viaje de las frecuencias en el agua (Travel of frequencies on the water) was inspired by von Karman vortex street’s theory, which studies repeated patterns in fluids, as swirling spirals in smoke rings or winds surrounding a tropical cyclone.
In my piece, the fluid medium is the water, played in a literal way by using a straw and a siphon; the bass clarinet is also prepared with water inside its bell, which causes fascinating acoustical phenomena. In analogy with von Karman’s theory, which amalgams the vulnerability of fluids with the power of the force that molds them, my music combines the fragility of sound with the solid rhythmical structure of the music.
Viaje de las frecuencias en el agua is dedicated to my father, eternal lover of the utopias of Jules Verne and to trioLF3, my musical submarine.

• Audio
• Video

Download score PDF

Send download link to:

Related post/s in my blog

“Las versiones y las obras” (English)

Related works:
• La madre del río / the mother of the river (1997 – rev. 1999)
• Maps of the Water (2007)

 

 

Viaje de las frecuencias en el agua (2018)

Viaje de las frecuencias en el agua (2018)

for bass clarinet, piano and double bass
dedicated to Low Frequency Trio
winner of the Low Frequency Trio competition
• Audio
• Video
• Program notes

Download score PDF

Send download link to: