Commissioned by the Colombian guitarist Arturo Parra, En cuerdas (In the Strings) is the version for solo tape of Sol y sombra… L’espace des spectres, a work for guitar and tape that was co-written with Parra. The composition heard here is completely independent from that work.
Its sonic environment nevertheless remains one of strings that are plucked, rubbed and struck; but these are strings have been made virtual, transformed by computer processes and multiplied by electroacoustic writing. These are morphological variations that have been obtained primarily through the use of a variety of ‘instruments’ of the SYTER system at Ina-GRM (Paris, France).
Within this formal framework and the preliminary choices made with the software, I left myself, as always, a great deal of room for improvised “séquences-jeux.”
Certainly, these moments of pure intuition do not involve the sense of vertigo and the irreparable risks that are found in real improvisation, for the choices are made afterward, allowing only those ‘magic moments’ to remain. Half-way between chance and will, this is perhaps an attempt to reconcile Pascal’s “spirit of fineness and spirit of geometry.”
[English translation: Tom Carter]
En cuerdas was realized at the composer’s studio in 1998 and premiered on 15 May 1998 at the Festival international de musique actuelle de Victoriaville (Québec). It was commissioned by Arturo Parra with support from the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA). I would like to thank Arturo Parra, whose many textures and sounds make up the materials of this piece, as well as Ina-GRM, which was kind enough to open wide the doors of the SYTER studio to me. En cuerdas won the 1st Prize ex æquo of the Hungarian Radio’s EAR’99 International Competition of Electroacoustic Music (Budapest, Hungary, 1999) and was also a prizewinner at the competition Città di Udine (Italy, 1998). En cuerdas was recorded on the 1998 disc Contemporanea ’98 (Taukay 107) and on the 2000 disc Sonic Circuits VIII (Innova 117).
- May 15, 1998, FIMAV 1998: Parr(A)cousmatique, Cégep de Victoriaville, Victoriaville (Québec)