© Angelo Palmieri

Vespers at San Vitale

Live electronics performance

composition and performance
Maurizio Alfonsi

live electronics performance on Medieval plainsong (2019)

Today, listening to music has no limits, both in space and time, since numberless historical styles and musical practices, are easily accessible. The composer is overcome by the extensive material at his disposal to the point of not having a shared musical thought anymore. Hence, compositional practice is unable to record on paper the stylistic combination options we have today. Therefore, to move on, one must take one step backwards, to return to the less binding practice of improvisation, to the quest for a new capacity to create music in a single, instantaneous creative gesture that interprets the musical demands of contemporary society. A selection and distillation of existing musical cultures makes it possible to achieve the material flow of sound that, once again, becomes the primeval source of music.
Based on improvisation, SALMI (Psalms) opens with the Gregorian chant Liber generationis, with the songs Lectio Sancti Evangelii, O quando in cruce and the offertory hymn Angelus Domini, which are developed, mixed and reconstructed together with complex sound events, following a constant flow. The melodic-spectral (and rhythmic) analysis of melodies and “tones of interpretation” has led to the creation of specific signal development algorithms and numerical synthesis. These factors are combined with “sound samples” (partly collected in churches and places of worship), modular electronic systems (both analogue and digital) and sensors. Process algorithms are governed by digital controllers via MIDI protocol in a “modal-timbre” dialogue between archaic vocal forms and current structural-sound concepts.

Full programme “Vespers at San Vitale”