Musique Concrete Cecilia Arditto ENG

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8/17/2019 Musique Concrete Cecilia Arditto ENG 1/27  1 Notes on image, sound and architectural space Musique concrète seven pieces-installations by Cecilia Arditto © Cecilia Arditto 2015 English translation Mercedes Escardó available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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  • 8/17/2019 Musique Concrete Cecilia Arditto ENG



    Notes on image, sound and architectural space

    Musique concrète

    seven pieces-installations

    by Cecilia Arditto© Cecilia Arditto 2015

    English translation Mercedes Escardó

    available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

  • 8/17/2019 Musique Concrete Cecilia Arditto ENG




    Musique concrète  is a series of 7 pieces-installations written for two percussionists and low-techparaphernalia whose score deals not only with the sound but also with the visual aspect and thearchitectural space. These texts have accompanied the creative process of this series as a side note,both the reflection and the creation being part of the composition.

    This is music made with simple elements, like threads, record-players, tins, cassettes. It is myintention, maybe my fantasy, to work with everyday objects that lay bare the composition processesand the relationship between things. I prefer to refer to the objects as everyday objects, rather than“simple”, as everyone who works with them knows that they are far from being simple: in generalsimple materials demand arduous processes and the more concrete “things” are, the more abstractthe connections turn out to be.

    Musique concrète  tries to build a small personal world made of objects first found, then made

    our own and finally organized in a score which, just like a detailed instruction manual, will not onlyinclude the annotation of sounds but also of light and space. It is an attempt at reflecting on therelationship between the disciplines that, when organized in a unique temporal line, turn the wholeexperience into a performance situation resembling the ways of chamber music.

    Musical analysis has always struck me as a narrative act of a fantasy nature with a life of its ownwhich goes beyond the work that it comments on. That is why I have decided to abandon myselffrom the start to the fiction of these words, which might have a partial correspondence with the

    piece and maybe a life of their own.Here are the texts and, in case they spark your curiosity, you will be able to complement them withthe scores and audio of Musique concrète  available online1.

    I have come a long way to get to this preface. I say goodbye with great pleasure and a littlenostalgia for the inevitable ending. Good night.

    Cecilia ArdittoDusseldorf, October, 2015


     Scores and audio available for download at “projects” link “musique concrete” link.

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    Index0. Preface

    1. Le son concrète, l'image concrèteSimple objects

    2. The score as a storyboard: cinema in real time•  Les moments trouvé

    3. The space as a screen: specific place•  The sections in time: rooms in the plan of a house• 

    Inventory•  Individual scenes: the parts of the house

    … the staircase… the column… the ceiling… the knob… the angles of the wall… the door

    4. Different layouts of Musique concrète  

    •  Succession• 

    Fragmentation•  Repetition•  Synesthesia

    5. Synesthesia-confusions•  Acoustic Mirrors•   Visual Mirrors•  Translation of the translation.•  Brief Synchrony•  Concrete Double•


    Music to Watch.•  Synesthesias•  Tactile Music•  Adjacent Worlds: the association of the association of the association•  Consequence-cause•  Recursive Logic•  Displacements

    6. Et vive la liberté!

    7. Bibliography

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    1 . Le son concrète, l ' image concrète

    The sounds come from the recording and find their sound sources in real objects. Concrete music

    then becomes “doubly concrete”.

    This project is called Musique concrète  because it is inspired

    by the work of Pierre Schaeffer, French composer who since the40s has devoted himself to composing music by recording soundobjects and then processing their sound in the studio. Schaefferbroadens the repertoire of sounds which had been used until thenin academic music by incorporating recordings of everyday objectsto the orchestral palette. Beyond the timbre revolution, Schaeffer’smusic would change the way we think about music by extendingthe limits of what is and is not music.

    The nature of the recorded sound as opposed to the live one is atopic which fascinated the pioneers of concrete music, whodiscovered the technical and aesthetic possibilities of mechanicalreplay. Recording is a powerful tool that brings the sounds closer“through a microscope” revealing their peculiarities to the extentthat the recordings become independent of their sources, so thesounds acquire new timbre possibilities when they are affected bytheir mechanical support as opposed to the qualities of the live


    In our present scene, 80 years later, the sounds come out of therecordings and find their sources in the real objects. We will listenas the recording of virtual scissors becomes a counterpoint to thesound of scissors live and we will see how a couple of fans floodthe space of shadows with the movement of their carcasses.Concrete music then becomes “doubly concrete”.

    However, not only does this relationship between the original andthe recording pose interesting timbre questions, it also opens upstage possibilities. In our small theatre, acoustic exploration is alsoaffected by a search of a theatrical nature. The original soundobject which gave birth to the recording is on stage as acounterpoint of its recorded “alter ego” presenting the fascinatingtopic of the original and its copy.

    … and we stop in themidst of things in thevery instant in which they have been thrown into theworld, but theyhaven’t yet touchedit completely, placingourselves at the pointof initial hope.

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    Simple objects 

    In Musique concrète  the everyday objects come from thekitchen, the attic, wardrobes and –forgetting their practical nature–

     jump on stage building a new fiction of a poetic type.Fans, radios, tins, lamps, record-players, sewing machines and apair of scissors will be our orchestra of found objects; threads,paper, cardboard, cloth and flashlights will build the visual space.The stage will also recreate an everyday space made up of theparts of a house: a door, a window, a staircase and a column willbe the set.The simplicity of the materials and the processes used in thisproject create a sense of familiarity with the scene which blurs the

    conceptual border between fiction and reality. Reality breaks intothe scene and, ideally, in an act of reciprocity, art bursts into ourdaily lives.

    Two interpreters –one in charge of a set of slide projectors and theother playing various sound objects– are responsible for buildingthis mixed audiovisual world. The sound and visual materials aremanipulated live in counterpoint with the recordings donebeforehand. As a performance cinema, music and images interactfollowing the guidelines which define audiovisual scenes live anddirect. The realization processes of the piece are visible explicitly

    since the interpreters, just like puppeteers, show the “backstage”of the project: the black box of the audiovisual product becomestotally transparent.

     When reality comeson stage, it is alwaysfiction. I developedMFT, Minimal FictionThreshold, which is aunit of fiction, likekilos, liters…How many MFTs are there in this roomnow?

     Vivi Tellas

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    If we fine-tune our listening skills, we will see that every record-player, radio, sewing machine, every slide projector, and magiclantern has its own unique, one-of-a-kind characteristics. Our“objects trouvés” will be, to a greater or lesser extent, different in

    each version of these pieces. Their personal characteristics, buzzes,statics, clicks and residual sounds will make up an envelopingphantom which constitutes the heart of this project.

    This underworld of subtlesounds meets the recordedmusic, which magnifies andelaborates them but also willbe found in their livedoubles in a morespontaneous way: the stage

    objects will be the source ofnew sounds and acousticsurprises.

    “Le ventilador” (detail of the score). Two old fans, with rotating carcasses and different speeds,produce different sounds as a counterpoint to a pre-recorded set of fans. It is interesting to see how

    even identical appliances, of the same brand, produce different sounds.

    In everyday life,objects areaccessories andserve practical

    purposes: because they are familiar, they are invisible;because they areomnipresent, they areabsent; because theyare everywhere, theyare nowhere. In the theatrical world, these objectsbecome protagonists

    and serve, besides their practicalfunction, a poeticone.

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    2. The score as a storyboard: the cinema in real t ime

    Musique concrète  is an instruction manual for the recreation of a film which exists only in thevirtual form of the score.

    In Musique concrète , sound, image and the use of space

    follow the guidelines in the score which synchronizes the differentevents in a unique timeline. The score, as a storyboard, includesprecise indications for the execution of the sound and light objectsas musical instruments. There are also instructions for thecomposition of the scene and the synchronization of theseparameters –sound, light and space– in real time.

    At the cinema, once finished, the films are able to be reproducedin a mechanical way once and again identically. Musiqueconcrète is an instruction manual for the recreation of the film

    that exists only in the virtual form of the score.

    The concept of version, so akin to classical music, is applied hereas well –both to the visual world and the space design. Thecreation of different scenes and the production of visual material ismade from scratch following the instructions of preciseannotations. Not only will “the notes” be read as a trigger of the

    sound world, but also the lines and graphics will be read in timeand in due form (a truer word was never said!) to be able toproduce a version of the visual world.

    The instructions for the slides and films not only cover thereproduction on stage, but also involve their manufacture: theslides and films will be made out of simple materials such asthread, transparent tape, markers, type-writers, scissors, etc. Theprocess is simple but arduous and puts interpreters necessarily inthe making of the piece as they have to manufacture their ownaudiovisual objects.

    Time spins 360°, like the volume of the things in a room; it isan extensive time, fullof things, ofgestures and of

    space. The beforeand the after, theabove and the belowfloat in this ball ofminutes and lace.

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    La radio” (detail of the score). In the line at the bottom, there are the indications of a homemadefilm drawn on a piece of paper. The film will be reproduced manually in synch with the recorded

    tape and a live radio. To manufacture the film, it is not necessary to trace the film or reproduce thefond suggested, interpreting the drawing in a personal way following the general idea in time and in

    due form is enough.

    This project, inspired in the cinema but with music at its heart, willhave as many versions as interpretations of the score there are.

    The drawings will always be original, the machines will be different,the space of representation will always be changeable, but ideallythe heart of the piece will remain intact.

    The decoding of the score allows for interpretations of the sameidea in different ways. “Different versions” is not the same as“many copies” of the same thing since the versions will always besimilar to one another –but different– and the copies will beidentical.May this project be a way of reflecting upon what prevails andwhat changes in the performing arts.

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    Les moments trouvé

    In our daily lives the simple things produce complex and poeticaleffects constantly. Musique concrète  captures that fleetinginstant where the shadow of the fan draws an outline in an angle ofthe ceiling, that plastic mini-moment worthy of an art gallery.

    These spontaneous moments are freed from their brevity and areorganized in a score: the ephemeral is perpetuated thanks to thenotation and are destined to repetition “ad eternum”. Then the“objets trouvés” turn into “moments trouvé” since our scene notonly has a visual entity but also a temporal one: a fan or a simpleflashlight are capable of providing us with completerepresentations, defining scenes with audio and sound just like a


    Something stays,something is lost, andsomething new isincorporated in theephemeral dynamicsof thereconstruction ofmusic notated on apiece of paper., and the consequenteffort of building

     the piece again fromscratch… every time.The sounds as soonas they are born, diewhich shows whymusic is essentially anart of the present,an ephemeral museumof the now.The score prevails.

    Hence we go… perceiving those moments that connect us with an extremely brief instant of apoetic nature, those miniature fractures of our attention that happen in general when we arebusy with another thing. It happens to us all the time and at the same time never because of thebrevity of the events and their capricious nature.

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    3. The space as a screen: specific place

    When sound and image converse with each other in an architectural space, the flat screen becomesthree-dimensional. Ceilings, floors, walls, columns, corners, staircases are the new stage for theprojections of the magic lantern images. The space, though theatrical, will reproduce a familiarplace inhabited by people, furniture and audiovisual inventions.

    Musique concrete (stage design) In our theatre, our landscape will not be a sunset at the beach or astarry night, but a column, a window and the vent.2

     2“projects” link “musique concrete” link.

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    In Musique concrète , the space is not a container of objects

    and actors as if it was a set: it is a space sensitive to the drama oflight, to the language of angles and shapes and, above all, it is adynamic space which moves in time.

    Music imprints its temporal shapes in the physical shapes of theroom: first, the light invents the column but it is the music the onethat gives it life in time.

    Architecture, as well as music, knows about order and plans; bothshare the need to construct, the calculations andpredetermination. Architecture builds in a finite space immerse inambiguous time, and music, almost in a reverse manner, brings itsmetronomic time to the floating space.

    Music and architecture belong to different but familiar dimensions

    establishing then a conversation of implicitly understood concepts“in the midst of things”.

    Just like a traditional opera,these pieces allow for differentstaging options in the literalsense of the term. Space, ifwell-defined, is susceptible tovarious interpretations. Thetemporal notions of succession,

     juxtaposition and repetition are

    concepts that music knowswell, and that will be appliedhere in relation to theorganization of space for the

    staging of these pieces.

    The objects, the interpreters, the physical space and the audience,all of them are mobile entities that depend on one another andestablish a flexible conversation where sometimes the interpretersmove, other times the audience does and others the space itself.

     What would happen

     to the house, thecloud and the treewithout the “airaround” which shapes them from outside in;and like an invisibleweave it moves thingssilently second aftersecond. Sometimeschanges are fast, likea leaf that flies;others more slowly,

    like a rock thatbecomes sand.

    The space ofarchitecture isdefined by planes andangles, filled andempty: the wall, theceiling, the window, the door, the column…

    The everyday spaceis defined by theobjects which inhabitit: a table, a chair, afolding screen…

    The space of music

    is defined by time:before, after, together, apart.

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    The sections in time: rooms in the plan of a house

    The architectural space is not strange to the temporal dimension,but its time is of a different nature to that of music. Let us take thestaircase as an example. At first sight, staircases are a unique entityof instant perception; but the very essence of staircases suggestsan itinerary of temporal kind: you have to go through it –really orimaginarily– step by step. The whole staircase contains in itself theduration of its itinerary: there are long staircases, short ones,infinite ones, twisted ones, incomplete ones, etc. Going throughthese staircases can take a minute or a thousand years but the unit

    of measure will always be time. When music comes on stage, thetimeless time of architecture becomes musical: it is infinite time,which starts and finishes; the time of music is orderly, a notefollows another under the pulse of a metronome always in motion.Also silence and waiting have a determined duration.

    Musique concrète  is a series of 7 individual pieces. Every

    piece corresponds to a different object –a record-player, a fan, asewing machine, etc– which in turn relate to a specific space –theceiling, the floor, a column, a staircase. Each piece will take up adifferent place in this virtual house defining mini-scenes which willsuccessively be organized on the basis of the architecture of the

    place, creating an itinerary in the space as if it was a guided tour.

    The drawing of ourhouse will be temporal: first theceiling and later thefloor, the column willbe slow and thecorridor full of fastsimultaneous doors. 

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    InventoryEach piece with its correspondent object will take up a different place in this virtual house definingmini-scenes which will successively be organized on the basis of the architecture of the place.

    In the same we abandon the glory of the sophisticated music instruments, we abandon themagnificent architectural spaces on behalf of humble corners and peeling walls

    Name of the piece Sound object Part of the house

    1. La table tournante (the pickup player) Pickup Windows and doors2. Machine a codre (the sewing machine) Sewing machine Column3. Ventilateur (ventilator)  Ventilator Celling4. Radio Radio Wall

    5. Électricité (electricity) String telephone Corner6. Solfège (solmization) Typewriter Stairs7. Vinyle (vinyl) Flash-light Entire room

    Musique concrete , layout of the space with objects.3 

    3 “projects” link “musique concrete” link. 

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    Individual scenes: the parts of the house

    In each scene, music and the projections converse with the different architectonic elements of the

    place. Each one of them will work as a different screen: stair screen, column screen, door screen thatopens, angle-of-the-wall screen, etc. All of them simple volumetric screens. The staging and thespace of the projection will be indivisible, making the projected image and its “3D screen” one.

    Next a catalog-itinerary of our house and the different kind of “found screens”.

    … the staircase

    In “La machine a écrire”, the percussionist sits on thestaircase and writes on their portable xylophone as if it

    was a type-writer. Simultaneously, a text in black andwhite is projected on the interpreter and on the staircase,which pretends/expects to be the big folded piece ofpaper of the type-writer.

    … the column

    In “La machine a coudre”, a thin film made of small dots is projected on a thin column. The dots fallcontinuously, and sometimes, defying gravity, they go up. The black and immense backgroundcreates the illusion that the black dots come from nowhere and go nowhere… or that the columnonto which they are projected is eternal.

    There is no one who hasn’t observed that the floor frequently folds in such a way that apart goes up at a right angle with the plane of the floor, and then the next part follows ina parallel manner to that plane, giving way to a new perpendicular, and that this conductrepeats itself in a spiral or a broken line to extremely variable heights.

    Julio Cortázar, Instructions on how to climb a staircase.

    (Says) Brâncusi: The sky. I’m going to make it real. If I build the column like I know how, likeI learnt a while ago that it has to be erected, the sky also will! Yes, I tell you it is infinite! Itwill go past the sky and beyond!

    Mircea Eliade, The Infinite Column

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    … the ceiling

    In “Le ventilateur”, two oscillating fans with flashlights attached to the back project dancinggeometric shapes on the ceiling of the room.

    … the knob

    Projections of images in black and white made with lines and points re-draw small architecturalevents and imperfections of the place: light switches, external pipes, cracks, molding, knobs…

    … the angles of the wall

    In “Electricité”, strings projected in the angles of the wall create folded shadows in straight cords.

    The only thing strange comes from the night ?for a night watchman is presumed to sleep serenely?

    but I spend hours and hours looking at the ceiling.

    Mario Benedetti, Man who looks at the ceiling.

    ‘My God!’ said the man. ‘I think that there is no knob on the inside. How,he/she has locked us both in!’‘Not both. Only one,’ said the girl. She went through the door and vanished.

    Jorge Luis Borges & Adolfo Bioy Casares, Extraordinary tales.

    …he said that to finish the poem the house was essential, as at an angle in the basement there was an Aleph. He explained that an Aleph is one of thepoints in space that contain all the points.

    Jorge Luis Borges, The Aleph

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    … the door

    Simple images are projected on a door which slowly opens and closes: our door, neither open norclosed, finds wellbeing in the swinging. The curious thing is that the door (screen) moves, but theprojections –thanks to an interesting optical phenomenon– stay fixed in the air. Although theprocess is in plain sight, it still tricks the senses.

    “La table tournante”. Projection in a lobby which has an arcade and doors. Four slide projectorsfocusing in different sections of the space are used. The successive doors and corridors fracture the

    image in several natural screens. Some doors move softly.

    So can’t we simply open a door and look?

    Clarice Lispector, Discoveries

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    4. Different layouts of Musique concrète

     1. Succession

    If the space of representation is fixed, with an audience also fixedlike in the case of a traditional stage, the successive segments willbe presented in succession, one after the other just like a concert.Each section of this project calls upon a different architecturalspace-element so we will be seeing the different parts in anunfolding manner: first the column, then the corner, later theceiling; building the space progressively before our eyes, sectionby section. It will not be the audience the one to move around thehouse, but the house the one to “walk” in front of the audiencefixed in their chairs.

    2. Fragmentation

    If the place of representation is a big space with different rooms,the sections of Musique concrète  will be presented in different

    areas. The public and the interpreters will move around the roomsbuilding an itinerary. The pieces will be represented in different

    spaces successively. If more interpreters are available, the sectionscan be played simultaneously in different rooms, juxtaposing oneanother, while the interpreters are fixed in their places.

    3. Repetition

    One piece alone is repeated constantly, in a loop, like aninstallation. Space and time are frozen thanks to repetition. Thepublic comes in and out of the room, going in and out of thepiece.

    The familiar place, just like a holisticrestoration, will bere-drawn by light andsound. The steps of the listener, which go

    from one place to the next, will continue to trace the timeline,which cannot be seenbut can be heard.

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    5. Synesthesia-confusions

    The conversation between dimensions that brush against one

    another is no more than a dialogue which is implicitly understoodand translated instantaneously, an exchange of cross-perspectivesand happy confusions between different categories.

    Musique concrète , like any interdisciplinary project, suggests

    different kinds of relationships between things; there connectionsbetween recorded objects and their originals, between image andsound, between projected objects and corporeal objects.

    Ideally, different disciplines have different logics and talk aboutvarious issues without explaining themselves. This conversationbetween dimensions that brush against one another is no morethan a dialogue which is implicitly understood and translatedinstantaneously, an exchange of cross-perspectives and happyconfusions between different categories.

    This project is a reflection on the connections between differentinterdisciplinary dimensions but music is at its heart. Sometimesthe relationships between things are more obvious, like in the caseof “The Radio”, where the film is watched in synch with itssoundtrack, translating image and sound in mimesis. Other times,the connections are more indirect, which is when one thing leadsto another… and that thing to another… and so on and so forth…

    while the relationship between the first thing and the last remainsblurry.

    I like to call these deferred and more distant relationships with thename of “synesthesia”, which is when an element takes the qualityof another that belongs to a different order of things.

    The worlds expandone another: thebook connects to thelamp which lights it upand the lampconnects toelectricity… beyondare the aerials, the

    storm and the rivers.

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    Discontinuous catalogue of the relationship between things

    Acoustic Mirrors

    The recording finds its sound source in reality. The pre-recorded sound plays in counterpoint withthe live sound in a game of double acoustics. Which is the copy and which the original?

    Recorded sewing machine in counterpoint with the live sewing machine. “La machine a coudre”,detail of the score.

     Visual Mirrors

    The visual arts have learnt well how to own concrete objects in the shape of “ready-made” foundobjects which, in the context of an exhibition, become a “piece of art”. In Musique concrète , in

    a hyper-realistic gesture, the objects reveal themselves from the core of the recording and becomecorporeal on stage. All our “ready-made” are plastic objects but, above all, they are musicalinstruments.

    Home-made electronics. “La machine a coudre” for sewing machine, scissors, pins and recorded


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    Translation of the translation.

    “La table tournante” is based on a historical interview between Marshall McLuhan and Pierre

    Schaeffer hosted by the French television in 1973. A woman translates the conversation fromEnglish into French, almost whispering very close to the microphones so that, although her voice isvery soft, it is in the foreground, as opposed to the main discussion, which is the recording that isheard far away. The translated words are projected simultaneously in various screens and doors asfragmented letters.

    The words from the recording, as ifthey were filtered by a strainer, arereflected partially on the projectedtext. Not only is the sound translatedinto image in the shape of letters, butalso their absence: with the use of

    filters, the silence of the image, theemptiness of the listening are allcomposed. The absence, like anegative drawing in the shape offiltered sounds and blurred letters,defines what is left. The conversationbetween Pierre Schaeffer and MarshallMac Luhan comes to us through the

    translator, the translator through the degraded vinyl; but mainly through the erosion of history. 

    In another order of translation, of a more “ambient” quality, the things the text refers to are

    embodied by the objects in the room. A record-player, a slide projector, a cassette player and afundamental electronic Bach in charge of Wendy Carlos will create a living museum, the stagewhere Schaeffer and McLuhan discuss issues like Musique concrète , mass media, virtual space

    and electricity, hot topics in the 70s.

    Brief Synchrony

    The recorded text and the projected text share brief moments of synchrony. Sound and image flowin simultaneous lines, of a floating nature, totally independently. Imagen and sound sporadically

    touch each other in an instant of very brief but absolute correspondence. These ephemeralcoincidences build a structure over time, minimal but solid, which as scaffolding, hold the fizzynature of the piece.

    Partial synchronies between the projected text and the recorded text in“La table tournante”. Photograph of one of the slides used in the

    projections. The texts meet briefly with the recording throughout thewhole piece.

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    The recorded text (Translator in the score) and the projected text (projectors in the score) share briefmoments of synchrony. They are connected in the score with a dotted line (see for example the text“le monde medieval” in both lines at the very beginning of the piece). “La table tournante”, detail

    of the score.

    Concrete Double

    In “La machine a coudre”, we can see a film which is simply made up of white spots on a blackbackground and is played rudimentarily using a projector with a handle. The 35 mm film is 20meters long and, as time goes by, it progressively takes up the space around the projector. “Thefilm itself” is not only the medium for the projected imagen but also becomes a plastic object initself.

    A film made up of holes has been punched with the same sewingmachine which gives us the concert. “La machine a coudre”, detail of the


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    Music to Watch.

    In “La machine a coudre”, a home-made film is played in a manual projector at different speeds.The variations between fast and slow produce different rhythms of a visual nature executed in

    counterpoint with the recorded music.

    Sometimes the points of light disappear into the pitch-black room representing the silence of theimage in an analogy with the silence of music.

    In “La machine a coudre”, small dots of light projected on the wall at different speeds producesimple and fascinating optical phenomena. When the dots are reproduced at great speed, they turn

    into a continuous line of light on the screen. Detail of the score.


    Synesthesia is a rhetorical figure which consists of the attribution of a sensation to a sense to whichit does not belong to: silence is gold, afternoon of crystals, immense hour…

    Inspired in poetry, in our little theatre the synesthesia becomes “concrete” and the metaphorsbecome instructions in a score.

    In “La machine a coudre” explained in previous examples, the sewing machine “sews the sound

    with its needle” and the projector “sews the fabric with its light.”

    “Of gold is the silence. The afternoon is of crystals.”Juan Ramón Jiménez, Immense Hour

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    Tactile Music

    In “Le ventilateur”, two fans in counterpoint with a recorded tape play with its different speedscooling off the room with thier staved swinging.

    The theory says that the perception of sound originates in the difference in the pressure of airregistered by our ears. In this piece, our body –as if it was a big eardrum– is the one to receive themoving air: concrete music is literally made of air.

    “Le ventilateur”, layout of the space. Detail of the score.

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    Adjacent Worlds: the association of the association of the association

    “Électricité” is the story of a wire projected in a circle of light. Three instances of this wire are

    simultaneously reflected on a screen: a projected wire, a real one which crosses the space and theshadow of the real wire. There are three kinds of visual representation for the phenomenon ofelectricity which is paradoxically audible but invisible.

    Music is made up of buzzes, pure frequencies and the noise of switches.

    In “Electricité”, the wires play different

    roles: transmitter of electricity, cordtelephone and at the same time adrawing of the frequencies they

    transmit. A small tribute to electricity inits multiple sound and visual facets.


    A vinyl is pre-recorded with sounds from the same record-player which reproduce it: noise from thestylus, scratches, buzzes, crackling and engine noises will delight our ears. The live record-player willinevitably add sounds similar to those recorded in the moment of the replay, creating a certainconfusion of the cause-consequence kind.

    In “Vinyle”, a record-player with built-in loudspeakers and asystem of valves works not only as a vintage player but also as a

    musical tool in itself, source of different sounds.

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    Recursive Logic

    In “La machine a écrire”, the percussionist sitting on a staircase types a fragment of the text

    “Solfège de l'objet sonore” by P. Schaeffer. The same text which he/she is typing is projectedsimultaneously on itself: white letters light the interpreter and the staircase where he/she is sitting.

    The staircase pretends to be the huge folded piece of paper in a type-writer, illusorily the samepiece of paper the interpreter is writing on. The interpreter is contained inside the same piece ofpaper which, in theory, he/she is using in his/her portable type-writer creating a problem of scale.This scene follows the logic of recursive actions, which is when an element includes a smaller versionof itself.

    Projected text, text played, spoken text in “La machine a écrire“. Detail of the score.


    In dreams, we can speak naturally with a loved one who, instead of his/her face, has the face of ananimal or a vegetable, but we clearly know who this person is in spite of his/her changedappearance. This phenomenon is called displacement. In “La machine a écrire”, the percussionisttypes a text in a portable xylophone with a set of thimbles which amplify the sound, imitating atype-writer. We all imagine a type-writer and would never think it is a concert for xylophone. I like tothink that verisimilitude in art is similar to the verisimilitude of dreams.

    “La machine à écrire”. Detail of the score.

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    6. Et vive la l iberté

    In Musique concrète , although there are fixed parameters based on a detailed score, there areother open parameters which will have to be dealt with by the interpreters and the conditions of theproduction.

    The notation of the parameters is the basic tool to create the universe of this project, itslimitations/limits, its entity and its operation. The interesting thing about musical notation is that italways demands an interpretation of the instructions, a decoding that suggests a delicate balancebetween fixed and changing factors. This phenomenon is not new and has allowed academic musicto remain alive and present for over a thousand years already.

    In this project, since the variables spread to the visual world and the specific place, the relationshipbetween the definite and the indefinite becomes exponential. The instructions reach not only theinstruments and the musical objects but also the visual world, ruling not only its execution but alsoits construction from scratch.

    The objects are simple and, because of their simplicity, their concrete nature becomes conceptual.It does not make much of a difference whether you use one kind of thread or another to project onthe wall, or whether the shape of the fans is round or square. There will always be an aestheticdecision and a commitment on the part of the interpreter in each decision, solving –and enjoying–the unexpected both in the “found objects” and the “moments found” in relation with the spaceavailable and the possibilities of production.It is my wish that the dynamic of the interpretation of the parameters allows for this project to betaken to situations outside the academic circle and also to different social situations.

    Musique concrète  tries to create not only a finished artistic product, but also a platform for

    different pieces-options with multiple applications, a mini-world of ideas and objects, flexible andadaptable to different types of settings, both theatrical and social. Musique concrète  is a

    conglomerate of things: columns, staircases, ceilings, floors, fans, record-players, radios, projectors,pieces of paper, threads, all of them as unrepeatable as the stories they entail and as unique as theinterpreters who animate them and as each member of the audience who receives them.

    We look at and listen to objects which in turn look at us from their modest and particular stories inan exchange of emotions where the mundane becomes special.

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    7. Bibl iography

    Schaeffer, Pierre (1966). Treatise on Musical Objects. Seuil: Paris.

    Bachelard, Gastón (1957). The Poetics of Space. P.U.F: Paris.

    Bourriaud, Nicolás (2002). Relational Aesthetics. Adriana Hidalgo Editora: Buenos Aires JoanCalduch Cervera, Issues of architectural composition

    Tosticarelli, Martina (2007) Light and Sound in Contemporary Space. Universitat Autònoma DeBarcelona: Barcelona.

    Benjamin, Walter (1936) The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.

    Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung: Frankfurt

    Literary citation:

    Benedetti, Mario (1990), “Man who Looks at the Ceiling” in Complete Poetry Work (1950-1985).Madrid: Visor

    Borges, Jorge Luis (1957) The Aleph. Emecé Editores: Buenos Aires

    Borges, Jorge Luis & Bioy Casares, Adolfo (1955) Extraordinary Tales. Santiago Rueda: BuenosAires.

    Cortázar, Julio (1962). “Instructions on how to climb a staircase” in History of Cronopios and Famas.Buenos Aires: Alfaguara

    Eliade, Mircea (1967). “The Infinite Column” (versión electrónica).,%20Mircea/79949883-Mircea-Eliade-La-columna-infinita.pdf

    Lispector, Clarice (2010). Discoveries. Buenos Aires: Adriana Hidalgo Editora