MAAT ME - Pierluigi Billone International Festival of Contemporary Music Warsaw Autumn

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Mani Amon for solo gong drum, 3 Alberi for three percussionists and Maat Me for solo percussion and ensemble, together form a trilogy.

Mani Amon freely explores the direct manipulation of the hands on the skin of the instrument. rough this work it opens and expands an eccentric dimension with respect to the traditional conception of sound: an initial and silent active contact. 

In 3 Alberi, the direct contact of the hands explored in Amon is flanked by an indirect manipulation of an industrial metal object mediated by wooden hammers. An initially “impossible” relationship is generated between the types of contact, the manipulation, the construction of energy forms and their development. The three interpreters work on the same instruments (each a gong drum and a car spring-coil) in a sort of triple mirroring, thus elaborating unusual relationships and connections within the same material. 

Maat Me encapsulates and develops the results of the first two works in various ways, expanding them and projecting them into the new reality of the ensemble. The solo percussion that operates exclusively on a gong drum, recalling Mani. Amon, and on a car spring-coil, recalling 3 Alberi, is the generating, concentrating and radiating centre of the forces that arise in the space of the ensemble. Percussion within the ensemble often has the particular role of “double” of the soloist, thus reproducing some relationships already experienced in 3 Alberi. The ensemble is a free space crossed by forces, which constantly changes its balance and role, interacting with the forces generated by the solo percussion (centre). The focus is on the production of sound, strictly and exclusively entrusted to the creative contact of the body that interacts directly with the instruments. The sound matter in transformation and its possible links, the network of hierarchies incorporated by the reciprocal positioning of the sound sources, make unusual relationships possible. The contact of the body with the instrument remains the focal point, but many vibrations do not have as their purpose the production of a usual acoustic event that is simply audible, as in the traditional sense. Manipulation thus acquires, temporarily, a local freedom which frees it from traditional meaning and aims. Sometimes it is an initial and silent active contact, which remains strictly sonic for the performer, but apparently does not yet create an object suficiently acoustically defined for the perception of a listener. The eccentric dimension that is definitively created in the central part of the work becomes the occasion for new rhythmic relationships. Actions, states, are formed and developed from solo percussion (or from its double) and radiate to other sound sources that act and interact actively but silently. 

The (apparently) empty dimension that is offered to the listener questions our perception, inviting us to actively expand.

It should be noted that the vibrations generated by these “initial” and “silent” acts are and remain actions-for-a-sound. They are in fact conceived and treated as a sound force, and they integrate organically with all the others. Their purpose is not to make the body “visible” or to shift attention to other dimensions. rough the rhythm of the action that develops silently—and which therefore temporarily concentrates the focus on itself—you access a rhythmic dimension that is not yet audible, which lies on deeper layers. What for a superficial attention seems to be a focus on the visible, is instead a measured and oriented emergence of the inaudible—of what has not yet been perceived and accepted in the audible. The contact of the body with the instrument oscillates on the limit that separates the two dimensions, dilating both and moving the limit. 

At that moment the familiar visible / audible distinction is suspended. 

Pierluigi Billone