Additional Information

White Mask is a piece for cello and live electronics (ad lib.) which is part of a cycle for cello, live electronics and resonating metal panels (2016-ongoing). The sound of the cello is processed live and projected to three metal panels. The material played by the cellist is a transcription of a fragment from a conversation among women in postcolonial Africa and its formal structure mimics the gradual release of tension that occurs in the conversation by gradually removing a filter on the underlying material, which is repeated within the piece as it is extracted from different enlargements of the original vocal utterances. The electronics convolutes the sound of the cello with that of an mbira, a thumb piano, and aims to reduce the difference between the two instruments. The inclusion of the metallic sounds produced by the panels to the cello sound corresponds to the rattling of the bottle caps, which are traditionally positioned on the thumb piano. The cellist controls the electronics and is free to simply create a shadow to the cello sounds or to generate a more independent voice, that dialogues with the instrument. This approach is inspired by the improvisational frame within which the music for mbira is usually structured.





White Masks for cello and live electronics