Mixtures #1 – J. S. Bach, Passacaglia BWV582 & 2012-7-11, Marcha negra (Madrid)

Formation: organ and live or prerecorded electronics
Creation: february-march 2014
Premiere: 10th march. Centro Cultural Antiguo Instituto (Gijón) and organ of the Basílica de Covadonga, FERNANDO ÁLVAREZ


The mixtures series departs from the idea of superimposing two completely dissimilar realities over the same discourse, reflecting in this way the double meaning of the word: as synonym of mix, amalgam, and as typical organ stopping technique, in which the superposition of several stops creates a new timbre.
From a technical point of view, these pieces are also studies about concatenative synthesis. This is a recent technique, through one could put in relationship two independent sound streams. One of them (the corpus) is segmented in lots of small grains, which are triggered according to their acoustic proximity towards the other sound stream (the target), played in a continuous form. In this way a kind of sound mosaic is created, where one sound realm is constructed with small grains of another completely different realm and context.

In this first piece of the series, the Passacaglia in C minor of J. S. Bach is superimposed over a field recording taken at the end of the so called “black march”, where thousands of miners from several parts of Spain walked and joined to Madrid in demonstration. The original idea of the passacaglia – its characteristic repetitivism and its origin in the real street (etymologically “to walk the street”)- is mixtured and recontextualized, creating in this way a kind of passacaglia inside another passacaglia.