Aa, Michel van der

In the years following 2000, Michel van der Aa has quickly developed into a composer with an international reputation. Characteristic of his work are his constructivist approach to music and ...

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Attach : for ensemble and soundtrack, 1999 / Michel van der Aa

Publisher: Amsterdam: Donemus, 2002
Publisher's number: 10247
Genre: Orchestra
Subgenre: Large ensemble (12 or more players)
Scoring: ob cl cl-b fg trp perc 2vl vla vc cb tape
Remarks: Voor hobo, klarinet, basklarinet, fagot, trompet, slagwerker, 2 violen, altviool, cello, contrabas en soundtrack. - In opracht van het Fonds voor de Scheppende Toonkunst. - Geschreven voor het Schönberg Ensemble. - Cop. MuziekGroep Nederland. - Tijdsduur: 17'20''
Duration: 17'00"
Number of players: 11
Status: fully digitized (real-time delivery)

Program note (English): (Première in Japan: 28-9-2000 - Sapporo Concert Hall - Nomad Ensemble, cond. Norio Sato). Attach is a piece with a high density of events. Central subject is the relationship of the musicians and the tape part. The tape precedes and extends the material of the musicians and challenges the players to react. It adds new overtones to chords and sequences and changes the colour of the instruments. In Attach the sounds of the ensemble and the sound track are glued together: they seem to be in line with each other, even when they contrast. The most prominent ingredient right from the start is a regular, mechanic pulse, occurring in several tempi at once. The piece opens with an exposition in which this pulse alternates with rapid unisono passages and long-held chords that are strangely discoloured by the electronic sounds ‘attached’ to them. Then follows a much quieter music, in which a perspicacious listener may recognize the opening section of Above, now reduced to a skeleton of
unraveled chords. This quiet, reflective texture is gradually invaded by pulse beats and faster notes until the music explodes into a headlong rush of alternating lightning phrases, hammered chords and dramatic pauses, that gradually intertwine and culminate in a feverish tutti in which the unison has given way to a rapid succession of chords (the same ten chords that underlie the whole trilogy). At last the movement stops short in a furious attachment, after which the calm counter-music takes over the discourse. This, however, is soon disrupted by intruding dry pulses, which go on to end the piece by themselves. 'Attach' is part of the 'Preposition trilogy - Above, Between, Attach'. Each part focuses on a specific positioning of the musical material. - MICHEL VAN DER AA

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