Four recent pieces by Berlin-based instrumentalist, composer and improviser, Lucio Capece, all focusing on the process of listening, one performed by Konzert Minimal, the other solo performances including a work for hanging speakers and helium balloons.
Label: Another Timbre
Released in: Greece/UK
"Four recent pieces by Berlin-based instrumentalist, composer and improviser, Lucio Capece, all focusing on the process of listening. One piece performed by Konzert Minimal, the others all solo performances, including Lucio's extraordinary piece at the Halle des Expositions in Evreux, France, using speakers hanging from helium balloons and location recordings through cardboard tubes."-Another Timbre
Sleevenotes by Lucio Capece
"Since 2011 I have been working on pieces that focus on the listener experience. This has led me to search for methods and musical results that work on the listener's perception mechanisms, and, in particular, on the ways in which she/he hears sound and music, and inhabits a space.
For "Room Melody" and "Gravity Resonance" I deduced the resonant frequencies of my practise room and selected some of them to construct a melody. I played the melody on a slide saxophone, an old instrument that uses just one sliding key to change pitch. This not only enables me to play glissandi, but also frees any specific tone from the limitations created when an instrument is built according to the tempered (or any other) tuning system. I recorded the melody, then played back the recording through speakers, re-recording it using a binaural microphone attached to a balloon, which I moved in circles around the room.
On "Room Melody" I used the re-recording of the melody (stereo) to shadow the original recording (mono).
On "Gravity Resonance" I looped the re-recorded melody several times using a double looper until I could hear a long constant sound consisting of the dominant frequencies of the melody. This mirrors the technique used by Alvin Lucier in his seminal work 'I am Sitting in a Room'. However, instead of starting with any sound, I started with the resonant sounds of the practise room, and instead of finding the dominant frequencies by looping the sounds in the space, I looped them internally within the device. Finally I combined the resulting long sound with sounds produced by various kinds of analogue synthesisers.
"Groupings" was composed for the Berlin-based ensemble Konzert Minimal. The piece is concerned with the way our brains organise groups of ideas in order to understand a musical language. The structural source for the piece was the sound, timing and intensity of the quiet noise produced when an accordion is opened or closed without intending to play a tone. Whenever 'white noise' is produced by an acoustic instrument, it contains some frequencies that can be heard more clearly than others. The principal tone of the accordion's white noise became the tonal basis of the piece.
The tonal elements of the work are developed using basic auditory illusions that create ambiguous perceptions about the presence or absence of sounds depending on what occurs before, during or after these sounds. I also used other auditory illusions related to the overtone and undertone series, as well as a combination of harmonic spectrums, overlapping the Equal Temperament and Just Intonation tuning systems.
The piece was first performed at Ausland in Berlin on 23rd September 2014, and was recorded there without an audience on 29th July 2015.
"Space Tuning - Eiffel´s Halle des Expositions" is the latest version in a series of location-specific pieces called 'Space Tuning - Conditional Music'. These have been realised at Bern Cathedral, the Mambo Museum in Bologna, the German Pavilion in Barcelona built by Mies van der Rohe, the countryside around Kleylehof at night, an abandoned swimming pool in Aiguelez, a public library in Oslo, a former factory in Oxford, and a backyard in Buenos Aires.
Performances involve the playback of recordings made in the space by placing a microphone inside cardboard tubes of differing dimensions. These recordings are analysed for their spectral characteristics and then edited into an assembled soundfile. The soundfile is played back live within the space via a PA, and is combined with three other sound sources: selected sine tones based on the harmonic spectrum and formants of the recordings, electronically produced white noise (both of which are amplified through mobile wireless speakers hanging from helium balloons), and some live sounds which I play on soprano saxophone.
This latest realisation took place on 20th May 2015 in the Halle des Expositions, which was built about 100 years ago by Alexander Gustave Eiffel in Évreux, France. I used six flying speakers, three moved by people, and three moving in circles powered by small propellers. For the first time in the series I made the initial recordings of the space by placing the microphone inside cardboard tubes with dimensions selected to create the resonating frequencies of the Halle. Also, compared to previous versions, I used very low sine tones which were chosen to embrace the characteristics of the space.
On the day of the performance it was windy, with clouds being blown across the sky. The sun heated the glass roof of the building, but when the clouds returned, the glass cooled, producing cracking noises that can be heard during the performance. Birds also landed on the roof, making sounds with their feet on the glass."
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Label: Another Timbre
Catalog ID: at93
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Tracks 1, 2 and 3 recorded by Lucio Capece. Track 4 recorded live by Franck Dubois.
Lucio Capece-Synthesizer, Soprano Saxophone, Performer [room resonance], bass clarinet, electronics, sine waves
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1. Gravity Resonance (2015) 12:04
2. Groupings (2014) 29:23
3. Room Melody (2015) 6:01
4. Space Tuning - Eiffel's Halle des Expositions (2015) 26:03