Nowadays, transcriptions of Johann Sebastian Bach’s compositions form an integral part of the classical guitar repertoire. These works have been produced in relatively recent times, the first ones being composed by Francisco Tárrega about 130 years ago. Today we have complete works transcribed from the violin, cello and flute repertoire, as well as few harpsichord pieces. Still, even contemporary transcriptions are not much different from those done by Tárrega or, later, by Andrés Segovia. Although many guitar players do listen to historically informed performances of ancient music, and might sense something is not right in the guitar transcriptions, not enough research has been done on this issue. Furthermore, since guitar did not exist as such in Bach's time, there is not any ancient treatise including instrument-specific solutions for dealing with the issues of that music, as there is for example for flute (Johann Joachim Quantz) and keyboard (Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach). A modern 6-string guitar player, therefore, in spite of having Bach as a substantial part of her/his repertoire, does not have anywhere to look at in order to faithfully broach these compositions. The absence of a detailed guide leads to read the music "as it is", with little or no attention paid to era-specific notation practice. For example, although the bowing in compositions for strings, where written, crucially affects the interpretation, no study on the transcriptions of bowings on guitar has been made. Furthermore, guitar transcriptions of keyboard works is a relatively new phenomenon and its complexity asks not only for more research, using the keyboard related sources we have, but also for exploring and experimenting on guitar and developing its techniques.
The idea of writing new music for an instrument whose usage and culture has been (re)created for the purpose of performing old music may seem paradoxical. But this is perhaps no more paradoxical than today’s widespread practice of public fortepiano recitals of canonized repertoire, a practice that that would have struck an 18th-century musician as absurd, let alone the fact that the ‘fortepiano’ as a standardized instrument would not have been remotely conceivable back in its time. The fortepiano culture of the 21st century is, therefore, distinctly of our time and perhaps not all that contradictory to the creation of new music for it.
However, two problems emerge. Firstly, if we accept the HIP notion that musical languages evolve in symbiosis with instruments causing each other to change through time, and that, therefore, the late 18th- and early 19th-century musical languages are embedded within the properties of the historical pianos, how then are we to reconcile this with a composer’s quest for musical creation coherent to the musical language and imagination of his or her time and place? And secondly, as history has shown that the evolution of the piano in the decades around 1800, was by no means linear or uniform, how are we to decide what constitutes as a fortepiano, determine its idiosyncrasy vis-à-vis the modern piano, and in turn compose music that is instrumentally authentic?
This study aims to explore these and other problems, which may be summarized under historicity and idiosyncrasy. As I seek answers, I draw on my double experience as a fortepianist and a composer. The former gives me an insight into the embodied knowledge of historical instrumentality, while the latter views at the instrument as a sound object, suspended between historicity and experimentation.
The principal aim of this research is to explore the confrontation between voice and electronics. This confrontation will fundamentally examine emergent relationships between voice and electronics, especially pertaining to constituting the voice’s identity in music, the use of extended vocal techniques, augmenting the voice with electronics, and relating concepts of embodiment and disembodiment within this context. Additionally, this approach to artistic research will aim at examining how confrontations between voice and electronics can create new perspectives for both of the voice and contemporary practices utilizing electronics.
Direct contact with Giacinto Scelsi has been the only acknowledged approach to the interpretation of his music, hence forming a circle of elite-performers, recipients of an understanding “beyond the written score”. However, in order to preserve the accuracy and faithfulness of performance, it is essential today to investigate the complex creative process of Scelsi, looking for interpretative suggestions residing within his artefacts. The subject of analysis will be Scelsi's opus for strings. I will focus on the materials of Scelsi's original improvisations (recorded tapes and specific musical instruments used), the role and artistic liberties of the transcribers over the written score and the process of instrumental assignment of a keyboard generated performance. The pars construens aims to find understanding behind Scelsi's improvised musical language, their formulations and functions, proposing effective technical adaptations on string instruments. My goal will be to present a coherent way to perform the works of Scelsi, eliminating the problematics of oral transmission while remaining faithful to his language and sounds.