“Se ‘l mie rozzo martello i duri sassi forma…”

A piece for violin, clarinets, piano/Seaboard® and hybrid electronics percussions, written for and premiered by Ensemble Resilience in Splendor, Amsterdam, June 2019.

Inspired by the Sonnet 46, from Rime by Renaissance sculptor Michelangelo Buonarroti. The sonnet starts with the words “if my crude hammer shapes the hard stone into a human appearance” which inspired the poetic idea of the piece. I attempted to describe, in musical terms, the progressive carving of the marble by hammer and chisel. The piece starts with the sculptor (here represented by the percussionist) beginning to carve a block of marble with initial strokes. While the chisel reaches the core of the block and the sculpture acquires its final shape–human appearance–the sound becomes softer and, finally, resembles a heartbeat. During the piece, the vibrations produced by the strokes (materialised by the other instruments) progressively interact with each other until they join together in a Renaissance-like vocal piece, which ultimately represents the final shape of Michelangelos statue. The spatialisation of the electonics and the modulated reverb help the listener to imagine a dive into the marble block and discover the appearance of the sculpted subject.