through the wall

Formation: 3 percussion players, violin, violoncello and piano + live electronic
Creation: september 2006 – february 2007
Premiere: 16th april 2007. Museo Reina Sofía (Madrid). TRÍO ARBÓS and NEOPERCUSIÓN
Duration: 15 min.

→ Complete score


Through the wall appears immediately after almost two years of working upon what I called “musical deconstructivism”, based in a deliberate and systematic deconstruction of several preconceptions allocated to the musical act: delimitation of what can be said through music, hierarchical order of its content or categorical separation of its elements.

Through the wall departs from a particular situation in order to deconstruct it inwards and outwards. The context situation is the departure point of the piece: a string piano trio and a percussion trio in a concert hall, with their connotations and expectations.

This situation is deconstructed inwards through two basic procedures taken to the extreme: fragmentation and redundancy. An apparently “normal” discourse -derived from the gestural repertoire of the string piano trio literature and several free-jazz solos- is literally spread through the staves, becoming a pointillistic grid with two possible interpretations: in their original shape and in their new “clothes” that are share with other origin’s materials. On the other side, the resource of redundancy contributes to the emergence of the interiority of sounds: time detentions over several instants that extend through several seconds, mechanical repetitions of some gestures…

Together with this “inward deconstruction”, the piece at the same time (and above all) a deconstruction towards the outside through the crossing of the forbidding wall that separates the music from its surrounding world, not being only the “fourth wall” that separates public from stage, but another that would separate what happens inside the concert hall with what is happening outside. The world bursts into the space reserved for the musical contemplation, either implicitly -through field recordings that reinterpret the sounding instrumental “music”- or through a recoding of these recordings of the outside in form of instrumental music.

Rather than a creation job, through the wall is a search the alluded spaces between categories and the musical and communicative potential they offer. The real compositional job starts in this point; far from being a mere “ex nihilo” creation, it rather becomes a task of decomposition of the different elements extracted from the commented departure situation. In this way, concrete real events are presented under a prism in which they merge with the live musical instruments, which sometimes force them to be heard with a musical perception; musical events are faced with their surrounding world, and are heard through the lens of the reality.

Without being a really deliberate decision -since the following already appeared in other works- the performing space [it was premiered in the Reina Sofía Museum] becomes very appropriate, since this is a work in which one can appreciate several aesthetical and technical resources more explored in visual arts than in music: the confluence between the abstract and the concrete in the soviet cinema and photography of the 20’s (Eisenstein, Vertov or Rodchenko), the melting between art and reality in the paintings of Gerhard Richter or the breakdown of the inner space in the architectural interventions of Gordon Matta-Clark… they are some of the sources which share aesthetical discourse with the present work.