Details of SOUND PORTRAITS IV & IVb

Contact the composer to acquire it (enricriu@yahoo.es). 6 pages. Duration: between 5:02 and 5:24. Solo (IV) and live improvised electronics (IVb). Experimental Contemporary.

Level: DIFFICULT. Range (written): not precise.

Technical elements: Tempo in seconds. Use of different techniques of the contemporary music: slaps, tongue ram, air sounds, micro-intervals, growl, multiphonics, key sounds, voice, etc.

Performance: To improvise following the parameters indicated in the score. To sympathize with the audience.

Enric Riu

ENRIC RIU received his Magister Artium (Degree) at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna, Austria (1999). He also has a DEA (Master) by the Universitat de Barcelona (2011), and a PhD in Musicology by the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

As a composer, he is currently investigating the possibilities to improve the relationships of communication between the audiences, the instrumentalists and the composer by means of co-creation, multi-reality frames, gestural language and multidisciplinarity.

Usual subjects in his works are moral concepts, nature, ignorance, consumerism, fear, inequality and freedom. His reference authors are, amongst other, Plato, Ch. Small, Th. Mc Evilley, N. Chomsky, G. Lipovetsky, R. Sennet, S. Sassen, E. Goffman and Z. Bauman.

ENRIC RIU actively collaborates with worldwide ensembles and interpreters like Ensemble CONCEPT/21, Morphosis Duo, Alter Face Duo, Proyecto Hélade, baritone-saxophonist Joan Martí-Frasquier, marimba player Adilia Yip, double-bassist Kathryn Schulmeister, flutist Marc Horne, viola Sixto Franco, Bass-clarinetist Emily Beisel, and pianist Tomeu Moll, amongst other.

Read more about the composer on his website.

SOUND PORTRAITS IV and IVb (version with improvised electronics) seek, in the same way that most of my works written from 2014 on, to strengthen the empathy of performers and listeners with the composer without forcing him to decrease the quality of his work content. What each one perceives of each work remains something extraordinarily subjective; not even the ad hoc descriptive music managed to unify sensations at the time. However, rejecting the description does not mean that communicativity can not be improved: it is much more than possible, but we need to change some points of view, and take into account a polyhedral role for interpreters, as well as develop research on other aspects that allow much more for other approaches between the parties.

Enric Riu, 2018

Comment on SOUND PORTRAITS IV & IVb

These works are recorded in my album MADE IN BCN.

Both versions of this work belong to the series of Sound Portraits (solo instrumental pieces) that ENRIC RIU is developing in his investigations. The main concern in each one of these works is to find paths to break the existing barriers between the composer, the performer and the audience. The ultimate goal is to deliver the content (or message) in an intellectually accessible way without sacrificing its quality and that is, in the opinion of the composer, the greatest challenge for the performer.

I have to say that I did not understand anything from SOUND PORTRAIT IV at the very first moment. I felt disappointed after receiving this Christmas present from Enric in 2014, since the work has no notes, neither staves, neither conventional musical symbols, but 3 groups of lines with a few writings.

The first group, the block of textures, has three parallel lines (1, 2 and 3) containing different indications of elements that modify the morphology of sound. The second group, the block of registers, has two lines (I and II) in which the duration of notes and rests (A as the slower ones, B, and C the faster) are suggested on the registers of the instrument (1º -low-, 2º -medium-, 3º -treble-). The third group, the block of dynamics, has three different parallel lines.

To play SOUND PORTRAIT IV the performer has to randomly choose a line of each of these three blocks and play them simultaneously without repeating the same combination of lines, up to six times. Every line longs 50 seconds, has different indications of time and can be separated by pauses no longer than six seconds each, except from the 5th and 6th times that have to played without interruption. So, the total duration of the work is from 5 minutes to 5 minutes and 24 seconds.

The work process of SOUND PORTRAIT IV was slow and I started it doing only different combinations of two lines before playing simultaneously the three of them with no problems. Despite of this work was not as open as it seemed to me at the very beginning since there are always the same structural elements (I invite you to listen to the two versions recorded in the disc and find the differences), I have to tell you that I never performed it twice exactly because new ideas and sounds arose every time I play it. So, if you like improvised music, I think you will enjoy this piece.

Some time later, I suggested Enric Riu a new version of SOUND PORTRAIT IV with electronics for my duo with Joan Bagés, an excellent sound artist (composer and electronics player at the same time). Enric welcomed my proposal and added a free improvised part with electronics that, in the hands of the outstanding Joan Bagés, undoubtedly brought this piece to a different level.

I premiered the solo version at the 17th World Saxophone Congress “SaxOpen”, in Strasbourg (France) in July 2015 and the electronics version, IVb, with Joan Bagés at concerts series Música d’Ara 2016 organized by the Associació Catalana de Compositors Actuals in Barcelona in October 2016.

If you want to know more about SOUND PORTRAIT IV or/and IVb, don’t hesitate to contact me.