© Ciril Horjak

Vito Žuraj — Tension

In Tension I am searching for various possibilities of communication and coordination within the ensemble which take the form of polyphonic shapes that ensue from an analysis of so-called “productive mistakes”.

For me, the idea of making productive mistakes and their potential as main topic of the piece is rather compelling. In the summer of 2010 I had such an experience through which I was able to gain some sound material that I am using in my work to this day. Together with Gregorio Karman I worked on my new piece Zgübleni for alto, ensemble and live electronics at the Experimental-Studio of the SWR in Fribourg. The violoncello is the most active instrument in this piece and as I am a cellist, I played the sounds myself during the recording which Gregorio later passed through the algorithms. One of the effects that we were working on at the time was a multipass-filter. This I was able to steer by means of a k-bow, a specially constructed bow which, with the help of various sensors, sent data relating to the pressure of the bow and its position via Bluetooth to the computer. We were just playing around with a fifth that was slightly too flat and a large second as standard intervals for the filter passes when there was an acoustic feedback owing to a somewhat too high pressure on the bow and suddenly the control frequency (pure tone) seemed to vacillate uncontrollably between these two intervals. Surprised by the independence of the algorithm, but also by the queerness of the sound, I asked Gregorio to allow it to proceed and to record it. I later analysed the sound, quantised it to tempered intervals, re-constructed the process to such an extent that I was able to control it and so constructed some music material. Ever since then, I have used this algorithm repeatedly for key instruments which, through this process, achieved a rather idiosyncratic virtuosity.

In my work commissioned by the Wittener Tage I would like to take things one step further. With those musicians of Klangforum Wien who are designated to perform my piece, I would like to organize individual try-outs – to let them improvise according to certain specifications whilst deliberately looking out for similar “by-products”, which I’ll afterwards analyse. The musical material created in this way will become the sound vocabulary for my new composition. What form exactly this will take will be determined by the working process with the musicians.
—Vito Žuraj, 2017

Auf Deutsch lesen: klangforum.at/zuraj

 in Werke
7 May 2018
7.30 p.m.
Vienna, Wiener Konzerthaus, Mozart-Saal grenz.wert Continental Drift and Pangaea EA EA EA

America, Australia, Europe. – The snug fit of the shelves’ margins, of the continents’ coastlines covered by water, reveals the boundaries to be no dividing lines, but connecting seams. Pangaea – one earth.

Ashley Fure — A Library on Lightning Austrian Premiere
Vito Žuraj — Tension 
Austrian Premiere
Liza Lim — Extinction Events and Dawn Chorus
Austrian Premiere

Sophie Schafleitner, violin
conductor: Peter Rundel

Die KomponistInnen über ihre neuen Werke:
Ashley Fure — A Library on Lightning
Vito Zuraj — Tension
Liza Lim — Extinction Events and Dawn Chorus