Lorenzo Pagliei (1972)
Portrait ( 1998 )
pour voix, électronique live et bande magnétique
- General information
Composition date :
- Duration : 15 mn
- Editor : Inédit
- Dedication : à Elisabetta Scatarzi
Livret (détail, auteur) :
Borges, Sanguineti, Joyce, Newman, Valentino Pagliei
- Composition date : 1998
- Musique vocale a cappella [Soprano]
- soprano solo
3 September 1998
Italie, L'Aquila, Corpi del suono
Elisabetta Scatarzi : soprano.
Information about electronic
Electronic device : temps réel, sons fixés sur support
Portrait is a kind of exploration of three themes so much care to me: the passing of time, the concept of chamber music in electronic music and vocality in the widest sense of the word. The piece is divided into different scenes, in every one the music focuses itself on a particular way to perceive time passing (linear, cyclic, still, stratified, chronometric, and so on). The changing from one scene to the other is committed to some intermezzos for solo tape, in which little by little a statement by J. H. Newman concerning the relativity of the time passing is assembled: “the story is well known of the monk who going out into the wood to meditate was detained there by the song of a bird for three hundred years which to his consciousness passed as only an hour”.
The texts are taken from various authors (Borges, Sanguineti, Joyce, Newman and my brother Valentino Pagliei) and are presented most of all superimposed in a sort of counterpoint. This counterpoint is constructed in such a way that you can follow the individual sense of any “voice-text” layer, but in superimposing them a multiplication of the different texts’ senses comes out. It is like in classical counterpoint in which the single voices have to possess two qualities: to be well characterized, own a individual sense and, at the same time, to be complementary to the other voices constituting a greater unity on another level.
A further goal of Portrait is to recreate the dynamics of chamber music between the singer and the “electronic performer”. Too often, indeed, it’s very hard for the performer on stage feeling at him ease in presence of a tape or other electronic devices. The musical problem lies on the fact that the soloist is forced to follow the tape without any flexibility. His performance will always be unfortunate because “tape is always right” and it doesn’t own the sensibility of the soloist to fit itself to the concert, the situation and the hall. The consequence is that the best possible performance is that in which the instrumentalist is in perfect synchronous with the tape but in a great musical frustration too. All that savours too little of chamber music: the relationships between electronics and soloist are articulated only from a compositional and not from a performative point of view.
In Portrait I tried to write a real duet for voice and electronic performer, in which the one waits for, aids, dialogs, breathes with the other. In such a way every performance retains that side of diversity and surprise i.e. the foundations of making music together.