debole forza

for piano and ebows
(Anselm Kiefer - Die berühmten Orden der Nacht)

Julia Den Boer

Dedicated to Julia Den Boer

Gravitational force governs matter down to macroscopic proportions, while playing a crucial role in the process of physical decay. This inescapable interaction controls conflicting forces and processes, proximity and distance, growth and decline, identity and difference.

In this piece, I wanted to retrace these relationships by organising the sound material according to an inverse directionality, i.e. starting from an expanded situation, and then collapsing into a denser and more organic temporality, which perhaps attracts, by rolling it backwards, what is scattered at the beginning. So, musically, I explored techniques of scale explosion, extreme dynamics, resonance strategies through the pedal and the use of the e-bow on the piano strings. A sense of stasis and dissolution, perhaps an obscure dynamism activated through the electronic part, marks the listening of the piece. Any sense of musical movement is interrupted and remains unsatisfied. This also seemed to me to reflect the human condition, as a kind of ascending and at the same time descending movement.

The electronics in this piece use amplification as a musical parameter. The microphones function as a lens that zooms in and out of the mechanics of the instrument; a second room – an electrocaustic, immanent space – envelops the presence of the piano resonating in the real room, to which is added a further sound level composed of reworked piano samples synchronised by means of a digital support. At this point we have a double concentric perspective: the musical one, expressed through the performer’s actions, and the sound one produced by the body of the instrument and projected by the loudspeakers.

Alessandro Massobrio, Julia Den Boer - debole forza 2010

back to overview