“More with less” is the last of a series of projects by Hertzbreakerz, started in 2017 with “Matter, Virtuality and the Expanded Body” in Malmö, with the purpose of establishing a close collaboration between composers and performers.
While this first experience was concentrated on a local dimension with a focus on the physicality of sound, for “More With Less” we invited an international performers and composers to work around an idea which was born out of a practical need. Duo Dubois is in search of a repertoire that is easily transportable, with a light and practical setup that allows the performers to fit the entire setup of the program within a manageable amount of luggage. For this reason, the involved composers needed to coordinate in such a way that their pieces would share the same objects or percussion instruments, and handy electronic gear.
Small instruments, a common array of objects for some of the pieces, and an electronic setup that would be possible to be run by the performers themselves. This practical need was turned into a “creative boundary” which gave the composers a frame to which they needed to relate.
These limited conditions of equipment would not, though, make the musical content suffer from a poverty of sound and timbre. The title “More With Less” points right to this idea, the challenge of creating something powerful even with minimal materials.
On top of that, the practical need for “portable music” offered a reference to a praxis of the nineteenth century: the arie da baule – these arias being pieces that were inserted whenever it was needed in an opera. Those arias where the “ace up the sleeve” of the great opera singers of the time, metaphorically called aria da baule (“trunk aria”), since the singers had their trunk full of so-called “insertion arias” to be sung at any suiting moment.
To tighten this connection to the arie da baule, the composers are asked to relate, in some way, to the classical opera repertoire. The aria becomes an objet trouvé that gives the new piece its root material. Therefore, the concert program of “More With Less” becomes a sort of transcription of the great aria tradition, stripped from their grandiose context – the arias are be transformed into a modern piece…da baule. The composers operate an inverted process compared to the historical one: decontextualizing the famous arias from their original opera framing and transforming them into new, independent pieces.
Alberto Cavallaro, sax
Federico Tramontana, percussion
Malmö, Inter Arts Center
Padova, Taverna Maderna Festival
How to conjure the spirit of Lucy in three steps, via telephone
for two performers and electronics
The Song Of The Siren
for saxophone, voices and tubes
Autoritratto di un’aria
for saxophone, percussion and MIDI controller
Songs from the trunk
for alto sax, Kaosspad and percussion
for soprano saxophone and percussion
for trunk and saxophone