Homo Sapiens, all-too-sapiens

A sculptural piece for viola, bass flute and flugelhorn, written in 2018-19 and premiered by the soloists of Ensemble InterContemporain in the June 2019 ManiFeste Festival in Paris.

The unusual disposition of the instruments on stage and the use of voice and close/open pipes create the illusion of sound coming from the inside of a three-dimensional body, at times fully manifesting itself to the outside as the body opens its oral apparatus. The three instruments are positioned in a line perpendicular to the audience. The detuned viola faces the audience and projects its sound forward, while the bass flute (positioned facing sideways) works as a sonorous bridge to the flugelhorn facing the back of the stage.

The piece starts with an embryonic representation of a creature that breaths sound in and out. A feeble heartbeat can be heard moving inside this creature – from the open mouth (viola) to the depth of the lungs (flugelhorn) – in synchrony with the breathing. Vocal sounds born inside the body move forward towards the sculpture’s mouth. The creation of proto-words manifests the presence of the Homo Sapiens (the wise/knowledgeable hominid). The complex nature of Sapiens moves the piece towards a progressive splitting in space of its personality. The three instruments, that at the beginning were cooperating as integral parts of a single body, start acquiring contrasting characteristics and becoming more and more independent. The complex nature of the human being, so much studied and yet uncontrollable can fascinate, confuse, scare…we are humans, perhaps all-too-sapiens.

read more on the spatial effect of this piece