RITOURNELLES FOR SOPRANO AND COMPUTER (1985/86)
Commissioned by the Internat.Computer Music Conference ICMC '86
Award of the 15th Internat.Competition Bourges Festival '87
I Regina - con espansione
II Clara - agitato
III Sibylla-Maria - con anima
Edition Le chant du monde - Culture Electronique 2
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It is well known that composing and performing a
piece for human voice live and synthetic sound is delicate. For
this reason I referred to some try-outs: the first part (Regina)
was premiered in January '85 (and recorded a few weeks later by
Swiss Television), the second (Clara) in January '86 and then
revised, and both parts were presented in a refined version at
the Bourges Festival'86. In the same year the third part
(Sibylla-Maria) was added and the complete cycle was premiered in
October '86 at the International Computer Music Conference in The
Hague (Holland) and awarded a prize at the 15th International
Competition of Bourges Festival '87. Soloist of the performances
was the dutch soprano Dieuwke Aalbers.
The human voice has always excited me. In my 16th year under the
huge impression of the great Hungarian singer Ilona Durigo I
began to write songs which in the course of time were followed by
further compositions for song. 1959-61 I wrote 'Miracles' for
soprano and 8 instruments, 1968 'Voce magna at Dominum clamo' for
mezzo-soprano and large orchestra which was premiered by Bruno
Maderna etc. In 1967 I made the attempt to connect the singing
voice with electronic sounds; my music 'Les Vetements de la
Demoiselle' for soprano and tape attained the PRIX SUISSE'67. In
the same year I proposed the idea of basing the organization of
the electronic sound world upon the characteristics of the human
voice ('Was ist elektronische Musik' Zurich 1967), an idea that I
later in my VOSIM-model for sound synthesis (VOice SIMulation)
and the MIDIM computer-language (MInimum DescrIption of Music)
was able to make concrete. (INTERFACE Vol.15,2-4,1986.)
'Ritournelles' has been composed by using my MIDIM-system for
digital composition at the Institutes of Sonology in Utrecht and
The Hague. The three parts consist each of strophes from where te
title arises. The eleven strophes of the first piece are
developed from a single basic pattern in a micro tonal manner.
This could absolutely not have been realized without the aid of a
computer.The second piece consists of three strophes and explores
thoroughly sound material first applied in my 'Chants magn‚ti-
ques'. The third part eventually introduces the verses of the
following Italian seicento-popular song:
Voi siete ventarola a tutti venti;
avete un core, e lo donate a tanti.
Fiore di sale.
D'amore non si more, non si more,
d'amore non si muor; ma si sta male.
Fior di piselli.
Vanne dall' amor mio, e digli, digli,
che son nel letto e conto i travicelli.
Fior di granato.
La donna quando canta, vuol marito,
l'uomo quando spasseggia,Š innamorato.
Fior di ginestra.
Dove s'accende il fuoco una volta,
sempre un po'di scintilla vi ci resta.