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Velocità astratta + rumore : for flute and virtual prepared pianoforte

by Andrián Pertout (2020)

Work Overview

Velocità astratta + rumore or 'Abstract Speed + Sound' was commissioned by Julian Burnside AO QC, and especially composed for Pietro Doronzo (Barletta, Apulia, Italy) for the 'Percorsi Sonori: dal flauto all 'elettronica' event presented as part of 'Termoli Musica 2020: XVI edizione.' The work is dedicated to Italian painter, art teacher and poet Giacomo Balla (1871-1958) - a key proponent of Italian 'Futurism,' which was officially launched on the 20th February, 1909 by Italian poet, editor and art theorist Filippo Tommaso Marinetti (1876-1944) via the publication of his article 'Manifeste du futurisme (Manifesto of Futurism)' in the French newspaper "Le Figaro". 'Futurismo', or 'Futurism' was an artistic and social movement that included every art medium (painting, sculpture, ceramics, graphic design, industrial design, interior design, urban design, theatre, film, fashion, textiles, literature, music, architecture, and even cooking), framed around the markers of modernity - the industrial city, machines, speed and flight, and it is in that tradition that Giacomo Balla's paintings attempted to depict light, movement and speed. Abstract Speed + Sound (1913-14) - one of several studies of motion created by the artist during 1913-14 - being a study of speed symbolised by the automobile, with the automobile's representation as a symbol of speed philosophically connected to Marinetti's 1909 first manifesto that states: "The world's splendour has been enriched by a new beauty: the beauty of speed… A roaring automobile… that seems to run on shrapnel, is more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace." Velocità astratta + rumore for flute and virtual prepared pianoforte attempts to capture some of the magic of the movement more than a hundred years on, with its contemporary reinterpretation captured by the notion of abstraction (realized principally via the processes of algorithmic composition, or 'probabilistic automata') and its utilization of a truly futurist innovation, the virtual instrument - in this case, a multi-sampled/prepared Yamaha C7 Grand Piano (incorporating 12,572 samples and 45 unique preparations, with up to two preparations per note [and individual level and pitch controls and a randomizer function] within its 88-note range) developed at the renowned IRCAM (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique) acoustic research centre in Paris.

Work Details

Year: 2020

Instrumentation: Flute, virtual prepared pianoforte (IRCAM Prepared Pianoforte).

Duration: 7 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Commission note: Commissioned by Julian Burnside for performance by Pietro Doronzo.. Composed for the ‘Percorsi Sonori: dal flauto all’elettronica’ event presented as part of ‘Termoli Musica 2020: XVI edizione’

First performance: by Pietro Doronzo — 28 Feb 21. Cinema San Antonio, Termoli, Molise, Campobasso, Italy

The composer has noted the following styles, genres, influences, etc. of this work:
Italian ‘Futurism’, Giacomo Balla’s Abstract Speed + Sound (1913-14), Stefan Hollos and J. Richard Hollos Combinatoriality Algorithmic Composition Single- and Multi-State Probabilistic Automatons, Milton Babbitt’s No. 1: Three Compositions for Piano (1947)

Performances of this work

28 Feb 21: Cinema San Antonio, Termoli, Molise, Campobasso, Italy. Featuring Pietro Doronzo.

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