Black Horizon - Marko Ciciliani International Festival of Contemporary Music Warsaw Autumn

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is performed on two table-top electric guitars by four players. Both guitars are prepared with a so-called “third-bridge,” which consist of a metal bolt that is inserted between the neck and the strings. The acoustic effect of this preparation is that any action on either side of the third bridge will make the part of strings that are situated at its opposite side ring as sympathetic resonances. 

These resonances are a substantial part of the sonic vocabulary that I am exploring with different, often slowly evolving textures. The resonances are producing a sort of artificial acoustic space throughout the piece, which is changing dependent on the point where the third-bridge is situated and which portion of the strings is used. 

Black Horizon was strongly inspired by a number of trips that I made in the spring of 2009 in various deserts of Southern California (Death Valley, Joshua Tree, Mohave, and Anza Borrego). In various points during the piece, field recordings from those trips are played back through the guitars (by holding small headphones on the pickups of the instrument). The guitars thereby become the medium through which the sounds of the desert are heard. With the resonating strings, the guitars become acoustic models of a landscape with its particular sound characteristic. 

Marko Ciciliani