ritratto senza voce (Billie Holiday)

Formation: percussion + video
Creation: october 2016
Premiere: 6 may 2017. Sampler Series, Arts Santa Mónica (Barcelona). CARLOTA CÁCERES
Duration: 7 minutes

→ Complete score

The material of the piece is taken from a video of Billie Holiday singing the song “Strange fruit”, based in the same named poem by Abel Meeropol. It is a poem that protests against the lynching of African Americans (still) in the 30’s, being the song often described as the first musical protest, in words and music, against racism.
The piece is a kind of mirroring of Billie Holiday and Strange Fruit in form of a voiceless, muted portrait (ritratto senza voce) . It goes all the way through the video, frame by frame, substituting every text phoneme by a corresponding percussion sound. At the same time, a “second” piece is built in the layer of the pauses between words: a gradual silence emerges in the sound, together with an image of a present racist reality.