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Year composed


Scored for

12 strings


10 minutes 




Premiered in Opatija, TMSJ, 1975  Zagreb soloists, conductor: Igor Gjadrov

Program notes

Original title:  Sustained Sound

RTV Zagreb’s commission of a short composition for the Zagreb Soloists Ensemble coincided in time with my preparations for work at the Studio di Fonologia in Milan. The intense interest in procedures characteristic of the elaboration of sound material through the electroacoustic medium directly affected the very conceptual treatment of both the whole and the details. The flow of the whole composition takes place within the "selected" or "found" and then "fixed inside the area of a pure fifth interval with shadings that occasionally stretch to the final tonal limits, melting into high frequencies and areas of white noise. The procedure subconsciously follows the techniques of assembly, superposition, filtering, and intermodulation. Thus, for example, by supporting the filtering technique, it was possible to observe the formant in the range from full density to its dissolution in the empty fifth interval (which stays in our consciousness as a recognizable feature of string instruments), with a number of intermediate transitions that lead to almost perfect harmonies. The whole composition seems to owe its appearance to the loop technique, which enables even the subtlest analytical gaze into its spectral forms. The score consciously omits dynamic nuance as a record. It proposes a general framework of intensity instead: mezzo piano (namely: less as a sign of an exactly measurable quantity, but rather as a nuance subject to action driven by the concepts - "subjective" or "psychological"). However, it does not imply flat volume, on the contrary, it pushes the performers to find micro modulations at the level and to the limits of the imagined dynamics, depending on  the analysis of the proposed material. layers, density, space and movement. In this way, the proposed mp actually denotes the dialectical result and acoustic total of the manner described above. The arrangement of individual sections and their structuring introduce elements of spatiality and again reveal an ideological connection with the electroacoustic way of thinking in terms such as panorama or channels. The way in which the musical form develops in this composition seems to deny the principle of accumulation of sharp contrasts ... SUSTAINED SOUND - it is something like a torso, like a segment (one of the possible ones) torn from some imaginary and uninterrupted sound circle. (I.K.)
Sustained Sound

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