Diogo Alvim · "Tłumaczenie" · "III [After Lem]" · Sound Score/ Partitura Sonora
Diogo Alvim · "Tłumaczenie" (2015) · "III [After Lem]" · Sound Score/ Partitura Sonora

"Tłumaczenie" ("Translation" in Polish) is a string quartet (written in 2014/15) that enquires how a traditional form can move beyond the repetition of old values, without changing its ‘format’. To do this, I developed a complex programme that uses (i) architecture as a pretext to expose and question different compositional problems, and (ii) the work of three Polish artists (Krzysztof Penderecki, Edward Krasiński and Stanisław Lem) to expand the semantic reach of the work. These references are also used as methodological approaches (a meta-programme) that inform about the processes carried out, and suggest different views on the translation problem through the configuration of different types of scores (written, graphic, and sonic) that ask for the collaborative creativity of the quartet.

Diogo Alvim

>> Tłumaczenie · Score – Part 1 and 2

>> Tłumaczenie · Partitura – Partes I e II

To obtain the audio file please contact/ Para obter o ficheiro áudio por favor contacte: mic[at]mic.pt


Duration: variable · min. 4’00’’

This sound score was produced from the process of recording the repeated playback of a phrase into the hall of Stranmillis College's Music Department building in Belfast. The phrase, taken from Stanislaw Lem's novel "His Master's Voice" was read into the space, and followed the process of Alvin Lucier's piece "I'm sitting in a room”.
The score consists of eight iterations that should be memorised and played in order. There is a part for each performer. Each part consists of a selected frequency band filtered out from the full score (the initial phrase was removed).
I suggest studying each iteration individually and to start from the last one, where the pitch material is best defined (4 pitches only for each instrument – indicated here on the right). The first iterations expose more the articulation of speech and complex noises, thus extended techniques that produce non pitched sounds can suit best. The sequence should be seen as a gradual transition - from more noise like elements towards articulations of simple tones.
Study by listening and selecting your preferred sounds. Some pitches are best heard, but you can choose a more subtle one, or vary between a few. You can focus on a specific pitch and its specific articulation all the way, or choose a particular melodic pattern that evolves through the sequence. Another suggestion is to change focus in each iteration, or alternate ad lib. Double stops are encouraged when possible.
The goal is not to imitate the sound score, but to translate it, creating something that will only emerge in the performance through the variety of each one's selection by listening, and memorising. There is no one way to play it and each performance will always be different.
The final iterations tend towards the stability of the main pitches. You can repeat the last one as many times until you feel the iterations are too stable and a feeling of repetitive trance has settled.

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