Colores (Phila: in Praesentia) | music | 2000
Flo Menzes wrote this requiem for Philadelpho Menezes – the inter-semiotic poet killed in an accident on July 23, 2000 – that brings the aesthetics of medieval music to contemporary musical poetics. This research was based on recurring concepts found throughout musical history, such as diversitas (diversity), varietas (variations) and color. The two siblings did advanced research in their own fields – Flo in music, and ‘Phila’ (as he was known to all) in poetry. It was not until 1985, at the beginning of their careers, that they worked together on Grafasias, Philadelpho’s translation of a Baudelaire poem. The last three words intoned at the end of her work were “color… color… color,” and she decided to write an electroacoustic requiem with the title Colores (Philadelpho: in Praesentia). The work consisted of “layers of color” formed by different acoustic treatments. The spatiality of the sound takes on great importance in this piece, which is interactive. The public is spatially involved by live dissemination of sounds and in real time by a computing system developed for contemporary music. In Flo Menezes’ own words: “The project culminates in three expansions of the word ‘poetry’ in the voice of the poet Philadelpho Menezes himself… Like a requiem, Colores has a dramatic accent, in which a certain ritualistic and almost ‘religious’ gestuality arises from extremely high pitched ‘cries’ emitted by the clarinet finding support in electroacoustic sounds. The clarinetist almost never faces the audience, but moves from side by side during the performance, in an anguished search for a space. Anxiously seeking a place; this “dramatic non-conformity ” is not resolved until the end, when the acoustic universe involves the audience with the movement of the bass clarinet. That which sought a place can only can find a place in all places, surrounding listening in space, its movement coinciding with extension in time through the presence of the actual voice of the dead poet. ” Finally, at the end of the work, the clarinet player himself takes the bass clarinet, descends from the “altar” on which he was located on the stage, behind the percussionist, and moves into the theater’s audience area, punctuating the multidimensional listening surrounding listeners for a few moments and moving away from the percussionist with whom he had been sharing the stage. Paradoxically, it is be through this physical distancing that both musical scores – clarinet and percussionist – are actually brought closer, resulting in a frequency, a communion of time of inflection and profound id-entity, in the broadest sense of the term. This gesture, which literally surrounds the audience, symbolizes the very dialectics of brotherhood: the further they are apart, the more siblings seem to actually look to each other. A gesture of hope against the inexorability of fading away. A graph of the spatial development of the eight layers of colors created by Flo Menezes is shown below: ring-modulation designs, clipping, chorus 1, resonances, pitch shift, band-pass filters, reverb and gate, other chorus types.
Lives and works in São Paulo (SP). Musician, composer, music theorist and professor. Professor (livre docente) – UNESP; post-doctorate- Paul Sacher Foundation, Basel, Switzerland; doctorate – University of Liège, Belgium; master’s in electronic music – Studio für Elektronische Musik, Cologne, Germany; studied composition at USP with Willy Corrêa de Oliveira. Professor of composition and electro-acoustic Music, UNESP, founder and artistic director of Studio PANaroma (electro-acoustic music) at UNESP.