Javier Alejandro Garavaglia


Contraries (resonances) for alto-flute, quadraphonic tape and live-electronics


Genre: Instrument and Tape – Interactive

Duration: ca 33 Min.


Contraries (resonances) is the second version of the former piece Gegensaetze (gegenseitig). The piece was partially recomposed and reprocessed in 1996 for the case in which the Hardware used for the real time processing of the first version (AUDIACsystem) should not be available. The live-electronics produced by the Audiacsystem in the first version are here already stored in the quadraphonic Tape. Contraries (resonances  has also differences in the flute part (mostly in the 4th and 5th parts) and adds as live-electronics delay lines and reverb, which can be made by most digital processors available and there is a version of them for MAXMSP programmed by the composer as well.


The conception of both pieces and also the election and the way of using the materials serve the idea that "contraries" are not principles standing against each other, but also that they can grew into something new while working together. This principle is shown all over the piece, from the selection of the instruments (alto flute/Tape, with the live-electronics as reciprocal action of both elements), up to the procedures used to compose all parameters of the work (form, pitches, rhythms, etc).


The live electronics were originally programmed with the AUDIACsystem, which was developed at ICEM (Institut for Computer music and electronic Media) at the Folkwang Hochschule-Essen and by the company Micro-Control GmbH & Co KG, both in Germany in the first half of the 1990 decade.


The piece was composed with two basic principles, which stand against each other:

-                  single-principle

-                  totality-principle.


Both principles are the main generators of every event throughout the work and are mainly represented everywhere in the piece by two objects: "glissando-object" and "a single-note-object" respectively.


Every parameter of the work is based on a numerical-row, which first four components were explicit selected, but from the 5th component on, they are always the addition of the last three numbers (meaning that the next figure in the row, will be constituted with the reciprocal action of the former three). It comes as result a bigger new value that stands as a contrary to the first, for example, the row begins with (1 1 3 5 ), which are the numbers arbitrary selected; the next value will be 9, the next 17 and so on. Each single element contributes to make a partial new totality. This row plays an extremely important role in the composition of the pitches, rhythms, metronomic values, form, and the stage-production, as well.


The form of the piece consists of 5 parts, each one showing the principles already mentioned:


1 - Solo alto flute ("single-principle")

2 - Alto flute + Tape (as opposites)

3 - Tape alone ("single-principle")

4 - Alto flute + Tape + live-electronics ("totality-principle"- reciprocal action of all three)

5 - Only live-electronics ("single-principle" as result of the reciprocally action of all three)


Gegensaetze (gegenseitig) was the first piece of music using the AUDIACsystem in a real-time live performance. Up to its premiere, the system had only been used to steer another type of events (all within the electronic music production), but there were no pieces with live instruments composed, especially for and with the system.


Before ending this programme note, I would like to clear up just one point more. The general conception of this work can be interpreted from several points of views, but my intention was to show the concept of "Thesis-Antithesis" at the light of human, social and naturally also political relationships. I think that nowadays, in a time in which neo-Nazi ideas and deeds spread out all over the world again, the concept of a reciprocal action of opposite elements may be considered as the opposite to intolerance, racism and discrimination. That doesn't mean neither that my piece has got a secret program nor that it is a political work, but it may be able to recall these type of implications.


Contraries (resonances) was first performed in the city of Bochum (Germany) on February 21st 1997 at the Museum Bochum by the flautist Lesley Olson. The Argentinean flutist Saúl Martin played it also several times in the USA in 2001.


(for more details about the piece and the AUDIACsystem, click here)