Concert Performance, aprox. 35 min, 2018
COMO HABLAR (CUANDO SOLO HAY PLALABRAS)? is a performance-concert of contemporary electronic music that uses the Morse code as language, as well as musical, compositional and thematic elements.
A computer program translates text to Morse signals and sends it to several synthesisers that generate sounds following this rhythm. Further more a custom instrument, based on an original Morse code key (the button used to send Morse code) is used when Morse code is played live. Unlike a conventional Morse Key this instrument allows to expressively modify the sounds when played.
Thinking about the Morse code within a musical context leads to a surprising amount of interesting aspects. It seems that the Morse code shares its basic elements with music: Like many musical systems it is based on a “pulse”, a basic rhythm and tempo. The Morse code defines the length of a “dot” or “dit” as its base unit. The “dahs” or “dashes” and the pauses are multiples of this duration. In the western musical tradition, the whole note is the one that defines the length of all notes and pauses. As in music, pauses (or silences) are not simply blank spaces but are also part of the music, they have meaning.
“No sound fears the silence that extinguishes it. And no silence exists that is not pregnant with sound”
John Cage, Lecture About Something
But very soon the two forms begin to diverge: in music we are looking for expression and we have created a form that allows us (like in language) to constitute ourselves. Mathematics forms the grammar, but the essential part of its meaning is not in how we follow the rules, but in how we diverge from them. No grammar can define the timbre, the change of tempo, the dynamics, the crescendos and decrescendos, the ritardandi … In other terms: It doesn’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing. Doo wah, doo wah, doo wah, doo wah.
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