Modo Recordar, Modo Olvidar (2010-11)

for contrabass, viola, live electronics (supercollider / MIDI keyboard)

Duration: 15′

Premiere: 20 January 2011, Studio LOOS, the Hague

( Maya Felixbrod, viola; Tomer Harari, electronics; Ilya Ziblat Shay, double bass )

About this piece (suggested program notes):

As suggested by the title (which translates more or less to: ‘mode of remembering, mode of forgetting’), the piece is dealing with certain limitations of memory. This is in fact a suggested system, or rather a process combining acoustic instruments and live electronics. The acts of remembering (recording the information played by the viola and the contrabass) is in here inseparable from the act of forgetting (erasing older data, previously played and stored). This process is going through several phases, each one results in a new combination between old and new material: through working with several tonal (‘church’) modes, I am able to save some some of the old saved information, while erasing other information. For example, in the first part the played instrumental material (indistinct bow sounds) is recorded and stored on the keys of the Ionian mode of C (the white keys between C-B), and then processed and played. In the second part new recorded material (more aggresive pizzicato and knocking sounds) is stored, but this time on the keys of the dorian mode of C#. The electronics ‘memory banks’ will now contain partially new material (the notes C#, D#, E, F#, G#, A# and B) and partially old material (C, D, F, G and A remain untouched, and will still store the older information). The played result is a combination of old and new materual. In this way, the played electronics of each of the 5 parts of this composition will combine a unique proportion between old and new material, storing variating instrumental techniques. I am refering to the tonal church modes in here, but of course the attitude is somehow cynical, since the ‘modulation’ process between the various modes receives in here a complete non traditional meaning, which strips it of it tonal value. Important to mention also is the combination of written, ‘fixed’ material, and the demand for ‘free’, improvisational playing. I was trying to balance between the two, so the performers would have the feeling of creating, or of generating something, rather than just ‘following’ a written score.

This piece was originally written for Hatzatz. Since it is a regularily working collaboration, it was realized by us mainly as a group improvisation (maintaining the same material / structure / electronic process), but I am also keeping the original ‘fixed’ score version.

(CD version, recorded during a live concert)

IMG_0680 (Th. Geritz )



pic by Th. Geritz