My artistic research aims to revive the Renaissance practice of improvised counterpoint. My basis will be a close study of ms. Paris, BnF, Esp. 219, a treatise allegedly written by Vicente Lusitano. I will examine and learn the numerous contrapuntal techniques of this source, with the goal of incorporating them into my performances as refined historical skills.
Research rooted in practice will help me to present my artistic output on CD recordings featuring improvised counterpoint. Ultimately, I will be able to bring the results of my research onto the postmodern concert stage at the highest possible artistic level.
Michele Del Prete
My research focusses on site-specific compositional and performance practices of music for organ and electronics and their musical-spatial values. I will compose and perform as electronic performer music for organs and electronics particularly focusing on instruments of the Renaissance-Baroque Dutch and North German/Hanseatic School. The compositional output will consist of tape music based on recorded organ sounds, works for organ and live electronics and works for sound environments of multiple organs and electronics. On the occasion of this research I will investigate the relation between organ and electroacoustic music clarifying which are the explicit and implicit references of electroacoustic practices to much older models, outlining an understanding of electronics as contingent, essentially non-reproducible post-digital practice.
The appearance of microphones and loudspeakers allowed composers to explore new musical territories. Until then, grinding noises coming from mechanic of piano or sounds emitted by the pianist were only perceived as disturbing the performance. With the development of amplification, those noises have become sounds that composers could use in a musical discourse.
New pianistic techniques have appeared: inner and outer parts of the instrument are investigated with the hand or with various accessories, while, in turn, properties of these accessories are revealed through their use inside the piano. The pianist himself becomes a study object: he is asked to make amplified finger snaps or tongue clicks, he has to speak, to sing or to whistle in a kind of choreographed show.
Live electronics have brought new steps of amplification, increasing virtuosity, filtering resonance, working on acoustic diffusion. The pianist can then interact and play along with live electronics, expanding the possibilities.
This research will be done from the performers’ perspective, but in collaboration with different composers for experimenting new amplified piano / pianist music.
The limitations of the electric guitar are also the limitations for the composer. Registers, spectrum, resonance, decay: all musical parameters are questioned in the search for a new and unheard sound on the instrument. This research intends to redefine the limits. Not the guitar should be questioned but the instrumentalist playing it, always willing to accept the challenge together with, or via, a guitar maker. Sonic challenges given by composers can, via the performer, result in a variety of modifications to the instrument. The translation of musical ideas written in the conventional musical notation into constructional recommendations for the instrument makes the guitar a fluid, amorphous actor. The triunity composer-guitarist-guitar builder becomes responsible for the improvement of the in-depth understanding of the possibilities of the instrument.