Carmine-Emanuele Cella (1976)

The Manhattan distance (2010)

suite after Lì Mǎdòu (2010), for orchestra

  • General information
    • Composition date: 2010
    • Duration: 10 mn
    • Publisher: Suvini Zerboni
Detailed formation
  • piccolo, flute, oboe, English horn, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 timpani, 2 percussionists, harp, celesta, 8 violins, 6 second violins, 4 violas, 4 cellos, 2 double basses [cordes minimum]

Premiere information

  • Date: 14 September 2011

    Corée du Sud, Séoul, Art Center


    l'Ensemble TIMF, direction : Soo-Yeoul Choi.

Program note

The piece takes inspiration from geometry. In real world we think that there is only a shortest path to go from a place to another. In advanced geometry this has been proved to be false: depending on some rules, it is possible to define many ways to have shortest paths between places. These paths are called distances and an important measure of distance is the Manhattan one. Using this type of distance, there are always at least two paths connecting two places.

This piece tries to create a musical equivalent of a place in which is defined the Manhattan geometry: here it’s always possible to have two ways to go to a place, two solutions to a problem.

Formally, the piece is organized into two sections that represent the paths connecting two places: each section is the musical development of such ideas.

There is not a single way to view reality: this piece tries to enforce the idea that is always possible to find at least two different perspectives on things.

Carmine-Emanuele Cella.