callingHiggs

Last March we presented first time callingHiggs in our concert at Festival SON – musicadhoy in Madrid, as a sort of final piece. This is an acousmatic piece for 31 mobile telephone parts performed by the audience and conducted by the composer himself, together with the support of an 8-channel tape and a video projection. The piece deals with the assemblage of several pre-composed parts shared between the members of the audience, as if they were singular particles or bosons extended around. It generates a kind of electronic piece that plays with the people role and the occupied spaces in a versatile way.

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The Higgs’ Boson seems to expand openly a complete revaluation of our values upon the universe existence, defying even the limitations of knowledge itself, as well as faith. Therefore, this is a situation really crucial for the human kind. Somehow, the piece wants to emphasize this sense of last question by making tangible a sort of universal grid through the sound of a multitude of mobile telephones in the performance, as if each mobile was one particle within an imaginary grid.

549830_10200756525055042_276723204_ncallingHiggs seek to dominate the performed space through a series of controlled behavioral gestures. This behavior on the sonic masses has to do  more with a certain holistic idea than an exhaustive control of sound diffusion via telephone assemblage, which were able to generate a real spatiality in physical terms, beyond psychoacoustics. The basic idea is to create textures literally able to bend our spatial perception by working from the material genesis itself, taking into account the total result from the individual parts. By the same token, the piece entails a biological control of materials, in which the reference  between them in a genetic level is implicit inside the content margins of each singular event.

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sonic architectures at Festival SON – musicadhoy, Madrid [ES]

Festival SON – musicadhoy became a sort of milestone in our path. Last March 9th, this important festival in Spain dedicated a whole concert to Ángel Arranz’s music by world premiering sonic architectures. This ongoing series of pieces, started in 2004 with the composition of Esquirlas/vacío for piano and electronics, is based on four avant-garde buidlings in Spain [Bodegas Protos, Hotel Marqués de Riscal, Bodegas Ysios and Bodegas Qumrán], designed respectively by four renowned architects: Sir Richard Rogers, Frank Gehry, Santiago Calatrava and Konkrit Blu Arquitectura. Probably you may know more about it here. The presentation resulted in a technically impeccable combination of three 8-channel tape pieces and three live electronics pieces, much of them with the video projection assistance of Beatriz del Saz.

sonic architectures is a series in which you could combine different pieces in order to make a whole, just in the way of raising up different sound constructs along a timeline. In turn, each piece belongs to different series of pieces, according with the architectural model used for their compositions. For instance, there is a series of three works entitled DK <protos>, another named DK <qumran>, an acousmatic series called [d]espacio, and so on and so forth. In fact, these series conform independently groups of pieces, which could be performed as coherent, separate recitals in a concert situation. In progress is still two of the series to be finished between 2014 and 2015.

Thanks to the great support of musicadhoy and of course the crew of La Casa Encendida, really diligent during the setup, rehearsal and concert time resulted smooth. From our very first minute in Madrid, Rebeca Largo made our visit extremely pleasant.

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Once we arrived to the concert space, the patio of La Casa Encendida, we started to work to recreate the setup we planned few months before. We had in front of us four different setups to be developed in only two days, so you really have to be really tidy if you want to extract some meaninful variety by presenting every proposal really solidly. Concerning to the first set, sonic architectures, we used almost all the technical elements from the venue. In order to take advantage of the room features, incredibly high spaces, we created a sort of double quadraphonic set, probably inspired by our previous concert at Quincena Musical de San Sebastián: one exterior set positioned just close to the corners at 4.5-5 meters height, and one interior set just surrounding the audience, at circa 2 meters from the floor. It is interesting to have this feeling of interior/exterior sounds, specially when you work with the distance sensation respecting to the audience. People from LCE sound department really did their utmost on perfectly positioning the speaker system as specified by not letting one single detail of our rider loose. Nina Kraszewska did an incredibly nice job by programming and handling the mixer control, patching a really complex sheet of instructions. Each one of the pieces was independently demanding in this sense.

SONic+callingHiggs RIDER

It is not frequent, at least according to our humble experience, that you find three comitted musicians at the same time with the same purpose: to get really intelectual, emotionally deep into one’s music. I think the group conformed by Akane Takada, Josetxo Silguero and Ralph Krause represents something like that. Akane’s performance was the first with us and her performance was superb, understanding Esquirlas/vacío for piano and electronics in a very personal way, dualing a sort of combative and hiper lyrical character at the same time. We got breathless during the rehearsals and concert, bravo. Josetxo made a mature version of Qumran, for bass saxophone and electronics; each time I listen to Josetxo to play this piece, I find something more and more atemporal, time-dissolved atmosphere, just the reallly flotant listening that I really wanted during the composition, planned as a kind of traveling from solid matter [concret] to the lightest of the elements [light], represented in the architecture designed by Konkrit Blu Arquitecture. The case of Ralph Krause is really special, it deserves a brief remark. First time he performed Punto Intenso contra Remisso was Salamanca, 2005, Spring time, that was the world premiere. Three years later, Spring 2008, we met again in The Hague; five years later, Spring 2013, following a perfect logarithmic interval sequence, we met in Madrid in order to do again a pendant version of the piece, that is 8-channel diffusion with live electronics written parts, unplayed until the date. it seems that certain development has been worked, as Debussy said, in complete ausence, in silence, during all these years!

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Qumran in Quincena

>> Versión en español

Two weeks ago, we visited the Basque Country to prepare our concert with Josetxo Silguero in the Quincena Musical of San Sebastián. We enjoy having isolated spaces in the middle of the city, far from the madding crowd, so that we can work on sound comfortably. This time, the rehearsals took place in a small chapel, surrounded by a delightful garden, just in the center of Irún. Here we installed a quite complete rehearsal set [many thanks to Diego]. The setting-up was fast and we could get to work immediately.

For the first time, we had the opportunity of working on Qumran with the all the resources this piece deserves. Ángel revised the piece and included five electronic interludes, as well as live electronics processes. Beatriz on the other hand did likewise with the video, defining a stunning range of images, from real-time improvisation with ruins of judaism-inspired buildings, to suggestive geometric grids and rich textures [Beatriz will publish a post on this soon]. We both are really glad about the results of the aesthetic whole.

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Qumran en Quincena

>> English version

Hace justo dos semanas que visitamos el País Vasco para trabajar en la preparación del concierto con Josetxo Silguero en Quincena Musical de San Sebastián. Nos encantan disponer de espacios aislados del casco urbano y del mundanal ruido para trabajar el sonido a nuestras anchas. En esta ocasión los ensayos se realizaron en una pequeña ermita en el centro de Irún rodeada de un apacible jardincillo. En ella instalamos un set de ensayo bastante completo [muchas gracias a Diego]. El montaje fue rápido y nos pusimos a trabajar en seguida.

Pudimos trabajar Qumran con el tiempo y la extensión de medios que la pieza se merece. Mientras que Ángel revisó la pieza introduciendo cinco interludios electrónicos y procesos de electrónica en vivo, Beatriz consideró hacer lo propio con el video, definiendo una bellísima paleta de imágenes, que iban desde la improvisación a tiempo real de ruinas de edificios inspiración judaica, retículas formadas por sugerentes geometrías y ricas texturas [próximamente Beatriz publicará un post sobre ello]. Ambos estamos especialmente contentos con el resultado del todo estético.

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A matter of adaptation

>> Versión en español

Last 29th of August we took part in the Contemporary music series of the Quincena Musica de San Sebastián, together with the saxophone player Josetxo Silguero. This concert centered around the bass saxophone (althought this was not the only representative of the saxophone family), and of course, around electronics and video creation. For us it was an inmense pleasure to work with such a great professional and sound craftsman as the engineer Juanan Ros.

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Cuestión de adaptación

>> English version

El pasado 29 de agosto participamos en el Ciclo de Música Contemporánea de la Quincena Musical de San Sebastián junto con el saxofonista Josetxo Silguero. En este concierto el saxofón bajo fue el protagonista, aunque no el único de la familia de los saxofones, y por supuesto, la electrónica y la video creación. Tuvimos el inmenso placer de trabajar con todo un gran profesional y artesano del sonido, el ingeniero Juanan Ros.

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DLLYDE for WFS at Festival Sonar – Barcelona [ES]

The WFS speaker system will be shown in the 2012 Festival Sonar from 14th to 16th of June,  travelling from Game of Life Foundation – The Hague [NL] to MACBA – Barcelona [ES]. Around the facilities devoted to Rita McBride’s work, for this occasion it will be celebrated concerts and lectures during three days as a sort of ‘sample board’ of the creative possibilities of the system. This is the lineup of composers participating in the show/installation:

Arthur Sauer | Iannis Xenakis | Ji Youn Kang | Barbara Ellison | Yannis Kyriakides | Roc Jiménez | Kees Tazelaar | Ángel Arranz | Miguel Negrao | Bjarni Gunnarsson | Yutaka Makino | Robert Henke | Joris Geurts | Erik Nyström | Alo Allik | Trevor Wishart | Joris Voorn | McBride | Siamak Anvary | Makam | Funckarma | Jeroen Visser | Machinefabriek | Nick Fells | Wouter Snoei

About our specific participation, De la luz y del espacio necesarily has been deeply re-spatialized in a version for Wave Field Synthesis system [WFS]. This 4-channel tape faces here a very interesting, indeed complex aural territory of experimentation, inasmuch as several original ideas reallized for a small number of outputs find suddenly there an extremely wide field, full of spatial possibilities. 3D sound movements at the moment are nor possible neither developed, though… yet.

DLLYDE is a piece composed in 2011 and it is the last and fourth of the series [d]espacio, based on four avant-garde architectures. In the specific case of DLLYDE, it is remarkably,  probably interesting on one hand the resonant character of the piece, since it was thought as an acoustical extension of the real spaces of the model in which the piece is based on [Bodegas Qumrán], in such a way architecture was experienced in person prior to the composition, extracting [recording] samples literally within the building by means of  acoustical techniques. On the other hand, it is equally remarkable the potential itineraries and virtual spaces to which it is possible to layer and re-espatialize in physical terms the whole piece in subsequent plans of complexity.

The spatial virtuality of the system is merely huge. The technical, overviewed description [192 speakers,  24 amplifiers, 12 subwoofers, 24 DA converters, 8 audio interfaces, and so and so forth] looks like a sort of electronic tree, fractal-like huge device extremely well estructured/organized that makes possible the graphical time-space routing of several sounds simultaneously via computer, recreating in precise terms the correspondence of a sound with an specific point onto the space. But not only that: sounds could really move, so that it could simulate actual movement, and even more, it is possible the allocation of certain sounds [literally] out the system [= out of the space in which the audience is supposed to be seated while music is performed]. In the case of DLLYDE, there were deployed around 60 gestures like in the video below. There you could see a few of them, as isolated samples, implemented in WFSCollider, an application designed for this purpose:

It is given the personal circunstance as well that the designers of Bodegas Qumrán, the architecture bureau Konkrit Blu, are based in Barcelona, so this fact probably could add an extra charm to the performance that somehow transfers back again in a very different way the spaces’ resonances they created concrete-made time ago.

Further information at:

http://www.sonar.es/es/2012/

http://gameoflife.nl/en/