Trambambula - Michał Silski International Festival of Contemporary Music Warsaw Autumn

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Trambambula appeared to me as striking alternative name for the popular table football. But let us remember what Alfred Korzybski said about the world image we construct in our minds, believing it to be comprehensive and true. Compared to the world’s enormity, complexity, and ever-changing character, our knowledge of it, although it might reflect a personal voyage through life, is by definition fragmentary, subjective, and hopelessly poor. So there must be masses of people familiar with trambambula and I have been living in ignorance. No less striking is the genial idea to play table football in a musical way. The temptation to programme sound was enormous, though I have eventually abandoned it. During play, contact between the ball and the players’ figures is translated into sound—but only to the extent that the figures knock. So let them start sounding! They will follow the pattern of an ancient percussive instrument. In a sense, it is a way of encoding an algorithm directly into matter. Likewise, the clockmaker is a programmer—only he writes no code but manufactures various pegs. We make use of the simplest instrument that at the same time, is closest to children: the glockenspiel. Tuned bars will replace football players on the pitch. They will allow us to “programme” a palette of sounds specific for a given player’s position. The visual reference to bells is a value, making the double function of the play visible at first sight. 

Finally, we need to decide which pitches to assign to players, or what melodies will be playable through a given set of passes. But I will leave this as a mystery to be disclosed during the game.

Michał Silski