Reach too far.

by Carlo Diaz

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about

This piece is an attempt to facilitate the exploration of a fringe. It is also somewhat of a meditation on the relationship between risk and comfort. The piece oscillates between intense stillness and intense tumult—with each pushed to further extremes as the piece progresses.

The materials are relatively simple. Harmony is based on the natural harmonic series and remains fairly stationary for most of the piece while rhythm is based on a few short figures spun in endless repetition. The jaw trump and simplified guitar provide an additional element of simplicity—their technical limitations provided inspiration for much of the musical material.

This fundamental simplicity allowed me to treat the piece as somewhat of a sculpture. My compositional process involved laying out barren musical landscapes and shaping, molding, compressing, twisting, and stretching—and the notated result allows the ensemble to sculpt as well. I am interested in how 'mistakes' in performance can sometimes light up harmonic sounds in between the firmly grounded partials aimed for in normal playing. The flexibility of the guitar and jaw trump parts encourages them to push the ensemble toward those sounds. As a whole, the piece provides performers with an initially stable environment wherein they can carefully approach danger, get a feel for it, and maybe even reach a bit too far into it.

credits

released May 16, 2016
Northwestern University Contemporary Music Ensemble + Vincent Povaszay, conductor

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about

Carlo Diaz Amsterdam, Netherlands

I am a composer based in Amsterdam and Chicago.

My work variously explores the physicality of historical, rudimentary, and simplified instruments and the relationship between music, history, and place.

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