Das Gewicht von Licht, 2008

The Morning Line, Seville 2008 © German Leal, Seville 2008

Multi-channel audio work encoded for 47 channel The Morning Line Sound System
35 min
​Commissioned by Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary

“A conductor-composer coaches three trombones-composers through a maze of composer-composed improvizations. This rich flux beam stream of sound is refracted through the artificial gravity lens of digital-composer evolutionary process.” – the artist 

Beginning with Arnold Schoenberg’s dodecaphonic transformation of harmony, which removed the narrative reliance on a tonal center and the tempered variations thereof, the concept of music as a dynamic field of changing forms and densities rather than a linear, point-to-point, harmonically driven narrative refers back to early twentieth-century shifts brought on by machine-age technologies. Demanding an end to common practice music’s reliance on melody and harmony and instead celebrating the incorporation of new, unheard machine sonorities, already Luigi Russolo’s (in)famous 1910 Futurist treatise, “The Art of Noises,” suggested the dissolution of the segregation between: “As it grows ever more complicated today, musical art seeks out combinations more dissonant, stranger and harsher for the ear. Thus, it comes ever closer to the noise-sound.” Employing new machineries of noise making, which he termed intonarumori, Russolo sought to harness the new sonorities arriving from “the throbbing of valves” and “the muttering of motors” by musically regulating and tuning such “movements and vibrations of time and intensity” through emerging technologies. The compositional framework in detail is to illustrate both the creation and the extension of new instrumental sonorities by way of technology as a fundamental compositional strategy as well as how such technical processes help in directly structuring the piece’s dramaturgical evolution. Indeed, acoustic technologies built from abstract, formal engineering principles permeate and organize many moments of the thematic canvas of absence, disappearance, haunting, the body as subject and site of memory, and the experience of recollection itself. Moreover, the embodied interaction or coproduction takes place among the human players, acoustic instruments, and computational systems. – Chris Salter

*1955 in Arnhem, Netherlands