Escuela Superior de Música
CNA: Central Courtyard
Avenida Río Churubusco 79, Country Club, Coyoacán, Ciudad de México
Qualia has been composed at the CEMI studios – Center for Experimental Music and Intermedia at the University of North Texas in 2017. The composition explores the experience of music from perception to sensation; the physical process during which our sensory organs – those involved with sound, tactility, and vision in particular – respond to musically organized sound stimuli. Through this deep connection, sound, space, and audience are all engaged in a multidimensional experience. The motion and the meaning inherited in the sounds are not disconnected from the sounds and are not the reason of the sounds but are in fact the sound altogether. Energy, movement, and timbre become one; sound source identification, cause guessing, sound energies, gesture decoding, and extra-musical connotations are not independent of the sound but vital internal components of it. Qualia are claimed to be individual instances of subjective, conscious experience. The way it feels to have mental states such as hearing frequencies at the lower threshold of human hearing or a piercing sound, hearing an Bb note from a ship horn, as well as the granularity of a recorded sound. In Qualia, I do not experience musical memory as a sequence of instances but as a sensory block that last the entire duration of the piece. The experience of sound itself is not sequential, it bypasses past or future, time becomes a present constant wholeness, a single unity. In this state of consciousness, time dissolves. The vibrating air molecules from the speakers, the reflections in the physical space, and the audience are the sound.
The idea behind the piece developed after reading an article I stumbled upon a 1966 copy of the Life magazine titled: New Experience That Bombardes the Senses. LSD Art. The article reviewed an exposition at New York's Riverside Museum created by a group called USCO (an abbreviation for ‘The Us Company’, or ‘The Company of Us’), a collective of artists, filmmakers, engineers, and poets who presented, acid-inspired artworks.
The declared aim of USCO was to create a sensory overload by bombarding the observer with “throbbing lights, dizzying designs, swirling smells, [and] swelling sounds.”* Their goal was to disrupt the sense of time and place, and produce disorientation, which was fundamental to the psychedelic experience, thus lifting the visitors into a state of heightened consciousness, or inducing wildly unpredictable set of artificial emotions.
With this piece I try to immerse the listener in a contemplative, mystical environment, where smooth and coarse textures appear unexpectedly and coalesce, assault and seduce - “They can be ecstatically beautiful - or terrifying.”*
The piece was composed at ICST-ZHdK (Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology at Zürcher Hochschule der Künste) studios and is built on synthetic sounds processed mostly through a four pole ladder filter, a granular algorithm, and a multichannel reverb.
* Life 9 September 1966.
"Palacio de Cristal"
"Palacio de Cristal" is based on field recordings done at 'Palacio de Cristal,' located in Parque del Retiro in Madrid. The piece goes back and forth between an abstract landscape and the sound as pure as the source. The spectrum was divided, separated, and fragmented in different channels to be later reconstructed in octaphony through spatial resynthesis.
The result is a sound visit to 'Palacio de Cristal,' through a traslucid curtain that allows us to define the exact contours of what we listen to. Through this we may guess phantasmagoric silhouettes and shadows.
Dreaming Waves is inspired by the work, Inventions for Radio: The Dreams by Delia Derbyshire and Barry Bermange, in particular the movements Falling and Sea.
This piece explores the cyclic motion and sensations of dreaming with small pockets of memories and abstract sounds surfacing, creating an enveloping sound world of electronically generated material, archival material (from DD110) and source recordings. The structure of this work is also inspired by a sketch from Delia’s notes, in which the visual score has helped emanate the use of space, frequency content within the work and larger gestural structures.
Many thanks go to the Delia Derbyshire Archive at The John Rylands Library, University of Manchester for the DD110 sound material and image for this work. Special thanks also go to Mark Ayres, Dr Janette Martin and Dr David Butler.
Darwin Pillar Corrêa
Unangebracht was composed from March to July 2015, in the Sala dos Sons of the Electronic Music Center of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS/BRA). This piece is based on the studio recording of free improvisations by the composer himself, played on the classical guitar with the use of traditional and extended instrumental techniques, which resulted in materials with varied sonority and gestural character. This sound catalog of concrete materials was then processed in order to generate new materials of non-mimetic quality. Proceeding through a reduced listening of the processed sounds, the composition of the work happened as a process of conformation of different sonorities in a musical discourse with abstract syntax, marked by interruptions and abrupt changes of sonority.