Javier Alejandro Garavaglia

T.A.T. (a man's life) for Viola, Bass-clarinet, quadraphonic tape and live electronics (1997-98)

Genre: Instrument and Tape - Interactive

Duration: about  24:00 minutes.


This work has a preconceived dramaturgy given the fact that its title represents the first letters of each of the three names of my viola teacher (Tomás Alejandro Tichauer), who died in December 1994 at the age of 50 because of a heart attack; he was not only my viola professor, but also one of my best friends. The life meant in the title is his and the piece is thought as a tribute to him. (see also its sister piece Overture [in memoriam T.A.T.])


Because the viola was almost a part of him, I chose the note ”C” (basic tone of the viola) to organize the whole pitch-system that rules the work. This was thought as there were for this pitch two different overtones series: one positive (the real overtones), representing the presence of life and one negative or abstract (the inversion of the overtone series), which we do not perceive, representing the absence of life (his not being there any more).


Nummerical connotations in relationship with his name and his birthday serve to organize algorithmically the rhythms and also the pitches.


The piece is divided in 6 parts without interruption, each one representing different moments in the life of every human being:


1-    "From nothing to life", that is, the conception of a life (both instruments + tape).

2-    "Birth" takes place at minute 5:00:000,

3-    "Begin of a life", from minute 5:42:000, running up to minute 9:00:000. (solo tape).

4-    "Maturity" up to minute 14:00:000 (both instruments + tape)

5-    "Age of lose" (solo tape)

6-     "Death and beyond" from minute 17:40:000 up to the end. (both instruments + tape)


Although it may seem so, there are not religious connotations in the piece. I did only want to express with music, that such moments surely exist in everyone's life.


Because it is a very personal work about a friend of mine, I played the viola myself in the world-premiere (April 1999 in the USA), using the bow which was his, and which was given to me one year after his death as a part of his legacy.


Channel distribution (according to the German typical clockwise distribution)