While electronic musical works featuring new instruments often explore novel interfaces to guide musical performance practices and control parameters of sound generation, note articulation and temporal presentation, the Coretet instrument designed for Trois Machins de la Grâce Aimante looks to the historical performance practices of bowed stringed instruments in a new and virtualized form. The composition itself borrows its language and zeitgeist both from improvisational ensemble works of the twentieth century and from strictly notated and prescribed works for contemporary string quartet. In Movement II of the three-movement work, which featured in the GAPPP project and recording sessions, performers use a graphical reference score to base their improvisation on. The score describes both individual and ensemble texture, density, dynamics and timing. In this way, performers study the musical work as if they were performing on traditional physical instruments, but the realization of the work is entirely virtual. Musically, the structure of Movement II was composed to explore the capabilities of the Coretet instrument itself, with each ‘section’ of the movement exploring different pitch-class settings of the instrument. Section one focuses on simple octaves, using the Coretet setting to split each string on the instrument’s neck into two notes each an octave apart. The bowing gesture itself and the ensemble textures become the focus of this section. Section two shifts to a quantized neck setting of major triads, built upon the open-string pitches of each instrument. The textures of ensemble performance again explore the new pitch classes, especially the quantized crossover between notes, allowing performers to create short trills. Section three focuses on the pentatonic scale and vertical chords played in unison by the ensemble.
Rob Hamilton Trois Machins de la Grâce Aimante, mvt. II
performed by Barbara Lüneburg (1st violin), Osman Eyublu (2nd violin), Francesca Piccioni (viola), Myriam García Fidalgo (violoncello), and Rob Hamilton (VR system)
audio recording: Ulrich Gladisch
video recording: ndbewegtbild
video and audio editing: Rob Hamilton
recorded on March 31, 2019 in the György Ligeti Hall/MUMUTH of the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz, Austria.
Duration of video: 20 minutes 26 seconds
GAPPP is funded by the Austrian Science Fund FWF as project PEEK AR 364-G24.