It was time again to reorganize my thoughts.
I needed to decide what to do after my master was finished. Now that going straight into a PhD wasn’t anymore an option and I needed a bit more time to compose music and be a musician, what could I do to make sure this was done in the best way, in a thrilling environment, surrounded by inspiring people and with outstanding facilities that I couldn’t normally afford?
Once again the European Union came to help. I could apply for a post-master internship program in a studio or university where to work and develop my own projects. Knowing that this project wasn’t geographically limited to Europe but could be extended to the whole world due to Erasmus Mundus, I started looking for possibilities in Montreal, Canada, where I also knew that my academy had some connection. Unfortunately, the school where I wanted to go, where Robert Normandeau is teaching, is a French speaking school where I wouldn’t be accepted if my level of French didn’t match certain requirements. Now, I really like Normandeau’s work and ideas about acousmatic music. He belongs to that wave of french-inspired Canadian composers such as Gilles Gobeil, who have embraced the legacy of extremely relevant figures such as Michel Chion and Francis Dhomont (Normandeau’s PhD dissertation about the Cinéma pour l’oreille is, in this sense, a very interesting paper that remodulates quite many of Chion’s philosophical concepts about sound and vision).
If I couldn’t go there I didn’t want to go to another university so I had two goals, either GRM in Paris, where I could finally work in close contact with THE acousmonium and get in contact with a lot of amazing French composers I love such as Lionel Marchetti, Jerome Noetinger and Eric La Casa, either EMS in Stockholm, a place I had visited briefly and that really tickled my imagination both for the amazing facilities and for the vibrant compositional environment that rose around it and is still very very active.
I tried to get in contact with them but the path to walk is still very long.
In the while time I started working on a new piece for which I commissioned some synthesized material to my friend Bruno Piscitelli. He has been very helpful adjusting the synth parts I’d made and re-recording them with his analog synthesizers. Also he helped me in couple of passages which lacked edge, giving me ideas and suggesting useful solutions. The original material for this piece were arranged already once, about 3 years ago, but they never saw the light. Also the first original structure was pretty basic and only 3 minutes long. Now I’m working on a 8 minutes piece with a higher structural complexity and an insane layering (with more than hundred stereo tracks). Again it is a piece about memory, but this time with a strong sense of rage and the tranquillity that occurs after acceptance of sorrow. I was reading “Poetry as insurgent art” by Lawrence Ferlinghetti while beginning the compositional phase, and the burst of energy that explodes from inside the poet was a greatly inspiring image.
Of course, as always in my work, this first idea changed while exploring the materials, which suggested different possible directions, and everything became more melancholic and reflective. The original title that I had for the piece “Gli Acini della Rabbia” wasn’t quite fitting anymore. But I haven’t changed it yet as honestly don’t have any better idea now.
time to celebrate!
The project proposal about a series of masterclasses at the Tbilisi State Conservatory, that Mariam, Mike and I have presented to the Norwegian Music Academy has been approved.
The project is called Making Waves and will be funded by the Norwegian Music Academy and CEMPE - the Center of Excellence in Music Performance Education - a satellite institution of NMH which has been extremely supportive.
The three of us will travel to Tbilisi three times next year - in October, February and April - to organize workshops and seminars related to music technology - such as compositional techniques and methods - and to arrange an electroacoustic music festival in April in which the Georgian students will participate with compositions and live performances.
The festival will also feature performances and pieces by the three of us and one guest artist from Norway. We wanted to invite someone who had some strong connection with the academy and that was a performer of live electronics and had a cool and innovative aesthetic and quite some international experience, therefore we found two possible names for our candidate. Hilde Marie Holsen and Gyrid Nordal Kaldestad. Luckily for us the selection happened in a natural way and we didn’t really have to choose (it would have been very hard) as Hilde couldn’t join due to her newly discovered pregnancy - congratulations!.
The module I designed for the students in Tbilisi and that I will teach is about field recording, electroacoustic music composition using soundscapes and Sound ecology. I know the students there are pretty new to this topics and I won’t go very deep in details with a lot of names and philosophy. I’d like to try to keep the module very practical and workshop oriented with soundwalks, field recording session, testing microphone set ups for different situations and listening exercises.
I will probably cover the basic of Murray Schafer’s theory and blend it with some concepts of Bernie Krause and Hildegard Westerkamp to get in deeper into analysis and composition. Also I want to eviscerate the reasons and the purposes of this activity and elaborate compositional strategies with the kids.
Another concept I’d like to bring on is the one related to the “third landscape”, as Tbilisi is FULL of such intersections between urban and extra urban environments.
I'm extremely excited for this and very looking forward to begin.