La Arqueología del Neón - Oscar Bettison
Unlike a lot of my works that are somewhat more conceptually based, this piece is more abstract. That having been said, the things that seemed to attach themselves to the piece as I was working on it, are things that I do tend to return to. These were the ideas of light, particularly artificial light (I have an obsession with artificiality) and the noisy, buzzy distortion associated with old neon tubes, together with the idea of uncovering, or unearthing of ideas, of music heard through, or under other music. These ideas manifest themselves in different ways in the piece: as far as distortion is concerned, almost all the ensemble have preparations in place that distort their natural sound, and the idea of uncovering is most obviously found in composed “holes” in the fabric of the piece when the normally fast activity suddenly stops, and microtonal drones give way to a different sort of music. I think of La Arqueología del Neón as a sort of frenetic chamber concerto. The ensemble is divided into smaller groupings, with the strings often acting as one unit against the rest of the ensemble. There are occasional accompanied solos that emerge in the course of the piece, as well as an underlying progression of pulses that occasionally rises to the surface. La Arqueología del Neón lasts about fifteen minutes and was commissioned by Talea Ensemble with funds provided by the Fromm Commissioning Award.