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Saturday, November 24 • 13:15 - 13:45
Electronic Arts

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1) Hillary Herndon, Jorge Variego and Matias Pedrana: 
Urban Haiku,  for viola, bass clarinet and bandoneon

2) Olivier Marin
Undō, composition for viola, electronic and video

Programme Notes:

Urban Haiku:
Urban haiku is a new work that places the viola in a new sonic environment. The piece incorporates elements of improvisation, characteristic textures of Argentinian tango featuring the sound of a viola that for moments becomes a hyper-instrument, enhanced by the power of the live electronics.
The piece is not a tango for viola, it is a suggestive work that is the result of the fusion of rustic urban sounds, melancholic bandoneón textures, with new soundscapes that involve the bass clarinet and the live electronics. Hillary, Matías and Jorge bring to this work their strengths from their fields of expertise. This new composition embeds chamber music excellence intertwined with traditional tango and new media.
The work fits the congress theme in two ways.  First, it presents the viola in a new compositional environment; the combination of the viola with bandoneón, bass clarinet and live computer electronics alone is a new ensemble never before explored.  Secondly, the exploration of new styles of playing combined with traditional textures of the Argentinian tango can reach a new audience of listeners.  The work can be equally at home in a concert hall as a milonga, the traditional home of the tango.

About Undō:
In Japanese, Undō means movement. After having created a show entitled «On the silk road» in which I incorporated «A String around autumn» by Toru Takemitsu (viola and piano) with musical haïku by Pierre Dutrieu (viola and voice), I studied more closely the Japanese haïku by Matsuo Bashõ, a great poet during the Edo era. I was inspired by a poem:

The autumn arrived
 coming to visit my ear
 a pillow of wind

Matsuo Basõ (1644-1695)
I’ve been fascinated by Japanese culture since I was initiated to martial arts. I even composed a few years ago a short work named Empi, for viola only, which was inspired by the movements of the Empi kata in karate. Undō is composed of fourth textures, first the soundtrack from my viola, second the ring bells from a sonogram analysis of the melodic sound of Iranian kamanche viola with the use of «AudioSculpt», and I finally used «Open-music» to recreate a harmonic texture. The chords thus created have been assigned to a midi instrument «Tubular Bells», which created these strange bells, sometimes with quarter of tones. Third, there are digital effects used at the same time in automation on pre-recorded tracks or controlled live with softstep; fourth, the viola sound with the written part which include several techniques of playing. The piece includes 3 scenes in Ableton-Live (A,B,C), which use different ways the digital processings. All is written down, the only part which includes improvisation is part B, but works like a pivot for the final theme. The initial harmonic and melodic material is quite modal and is inspired by pieces of the late Renaissance like Carlo Gesualdo. The contrapuntal and melodic part for «violas» contrasts with the intangible and clockwise movement of the bells. I wanted to bring together  the viola and the machine, earthly and digital time, ancient music and the «noise» of the ultra contemporary electronic music, and then to confuse the issue in the final part by bringing a bit of tonality and conferring a unifying role to the bells.

The video by Jullian Hoff, composer in digital arts, was pieced together from the music sheet. It explores the shock between two times since most of the shapes and the colors are from the patterns that Jullian calligraphed himself. We tried both alike to be thrifty in the material and tried to create a visual and musical space out of time.


Artists
avatar for Hillary Herndon

Hillary Herndon

University of Tennessee (USA)
Violist Hillary Herndon has earned a national reputation for her brilliant playing, “sweetly soaring tone” (Time Out New York), creative programming and insightful teaching. She has been heard on NPR and PBS and has collaborated with some of the world’s foremost artists, including... Read More →
avatar for Jorge Variego

Jorge Variego

Bass Clarinet, Composer
Jorge Variego was born in Rosario, Argentina. He received his PhD in music composition from the University of Florida, MM in composition and clarinet performance from Carnegie Mellon University (Fulbright Scholar). He is currently faculty in Music Theory/Composition at the University... Read More →
avatar for Matias Pedrana

Matias Pedrana

Bandoneon
Matias Pedrana began his musical studies in his native Argentina and received his degree from the Rotterdam conservatorium-The Netherlands. He has performed with many well known artists and ensembles such as: "Orquesta Tipica OTRA", "Guardia Cadenera", "Nueva Manteca", "Motion Unlimited... Read More →
avatar for Olivier Marin

Olivier Marin

Conservatoire de Paris
OLIVIER MARIN, viola/composerOlivier Marin, violist and composer, performs regularly as a soloist and chamber musician at musicfestivals worldwide where he presents original recitals combining classical, contemporary and worldmusic. In his artistic approach, Olivier explores various... Read More →


Saturday November 24, 2018 13:15 - 13:45
Hofplein Rotterdam, Main Theatre Benthemstraat 13, 3032 CC Rotterdam, Netherlands

Attendees (9)