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A sense of space : for nylon guitar, flute, and soprano with percussion

by Daniel Portelli (2016)

sense of space


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A sense of space : for nylon guitar, flute, and soprano with percussion / Daniel Portelli.

Library shelf no. 783.66542/POR 1 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

The piece works with different levels of magnification of sound that reveals grains and particles. The particulate sound vocabulary includes scratching on guitar strings with different durations and speeds, the sounds of crumbling shredded bamboo, and brushing sandpaper on wood. The vocalist with her breathy sounds emulates these qualities. I was interested in the tactility of these elements and the ways in which a minuscule perception of texture creates both abstract and concrete effects. At the abstract level, I work with similar categories of sound with a white noise spectrum that can be heard as distortion or airy tones. Varying degrees of density or resistance are shaped where physical pressure is the key parameter for controlling the audibility of the graininess or grittiness of the material.

My instrumental approach is about articulating a kind of dynamism through gestural variations, changing volume envelopes, and differences in textures from the instruments. The frequent interpolation of rests as well as quiet passages allows the sounds of the performance space to become more present to audience attention. Pauses often occur after sections that are populated with the dense sound activity of a flourishing string of micro-tonal pitches, and parts offset in uneven rhythms.

Work Details

Year: 2016

Instrumentation: Nylon guitar, flute, soprano (doubling percussion).

Duration: 10 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

First performance: by Alba Bru, Diego Castro Magaš, Peyee Che — 5 Mar 16. St. Paul’s Hall, University of Huddersfield, UK


A sense of space

Performances of this work

5 Mar 16: St. Paul’s Hall, University of Huddersfield, UK . Featuring Alba Bru, Diego Castro Magaš, Peyee Che.

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