How can a machine learn to produce music? A concept-album of generative music, a collection of musical monsters exploring sample-by-sample deep learning generative models, inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and used in Jean François Peyret’s eponymous theatrical piece.
In random order: someone looking from the window of a train; an endless fall; the passage from contour to image; the passage from animation to film. Somehow an exploration of space an time, with no knowledge of where we are going. (“– so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation)
Time is a scraping engine, and the piece is a loose attempt to put it in motion. Musicians are four old gramophones, constantly in phase, granulating some old stuff. During the journey: the on and off of the light in a grey hospital corridor. And a scent, as of october leaves, as of tempests.
Is there a perspective to understand our universe, in which time, space, ages are somehow less interesting parameters than a network of shared things across geography and history? Is there ever a chance for music to be not “mine” nor “yours”, but – in a very deep sense – “ours”?
Sortie, Docili maniere, Finché morte, Benché simili, Mentre gelide, Eccetto Vercurago. As truncated incipits of non-existing poems, these six short piano pieces explore the relationships between extremely simple mechanisms and groundless abysses.
The path from an absence to a presence is a totally absorbing experience, analogous to the one in acousmatic music: imagination is guided by an object, almost magical, which represents its source. Then we see something, and the seen objects become a horde, a tribe of loudspeakers learning how to speak.
A Middle Ages catapulted into a non-place of a deformed imagination, with strange and disturbing interactions between different dimensions that reach the threshold of Chaos. The ghastly and immobile vestiges of the medieval iconography are deformed, transformed and destroyed to finally sprout again. The meeting of three disproportionates human skulls, vanities, triggers perturbation up to chaos. Skeletons dance to announce a cycle of continual construction and deconstruction.
A wager: the orchestration of a purely electroacoustic piece. An attempt: the rapprochement of the electroacoustic and acoustic writing. A game: sounds become words, and words become meta-words, keeping, like a faint shadow, a more or less indelible trace of their previous meaning.
An anthology whose raw material are masterpieces of past and recent history of music (from Ockegem to Grisey). Belonging, universality, authenticity: put these concepts in a composer’s hand, and they’ll immediately clash against the hermetically sealed compartment of copyrights. Eventually, all music is meta-music.
Four Chansons by Ockeghem, four lieder for cello or viola, piano and lo-fi electronic device: “L’autre d’antan”, “Presque transi”, “Ma bouche rit”, “Malor me bat”. Distant voices, still lives. Can we sing with someone else’s voice?
Electronic sounds are elsewhere, in an unknown land where laws of physics get tricky, in a non-place where everything suddenly becomes possible, where sounds become symbols, and where words and ideas are mingled with the heavy burden of their possible meanings, as phantoms of a young Pessoa, in an dreamlike view.
Loop, loop, loop, loop, loop, loop. Circularity, recursion, iteration. As Flann O’ Brien’s fictional De Selby inside its hell, going round and round. But what’s the relation between looping and grooving?
A playful attempt to give a semantic value to sounds, taking as starting idea the articulation of the chapters of Lewis Carroll’s “Through the looking glass”. And as soon as the sounds become words, the words lose their sense, and turn into meta-words, which hold, as a faint shadow, traveling towards the other side of the mirror, a trace of their previous meaning.
Nietsche, Marinetti, Savinio, Bellezza, Joyce, Apollinaire: each one weaves the net for a criticism of Italian Futurist movement. Just outside the door: telephones, fireworks, megaphones. And right below the surface, between objects and shadows, the reflection of an hommage.