Time Loom

A theatrical piece for violin and tape, written in 2017.

This meditative piece aims to explore the relationship that human beings have with the perception of time and memory. It can be thought as a dialogue between the Kairos, our inner perception of the flowing of time, and Kronos, the steady gait of the physical time. The latter, represented by a steady clock tick recurrent throughout the piece, continuously interrupts the serene flowing of the long and fluid lines produced by the Time Loom. Evocative ancestral harmonies and timbres are pulled out of this surreal instrument which, thanks to the tailored tape, appears equipped with resonance open strings alike the viola d’amore. The listeners can let their perception weave in and out of the complex weft of time, letting the music resonate in the memory during the long silences as if the Time Loom’s resonant threads were extended in their minds.

Time Loom was born from the concept of a fictional “violino d’amore” – an instrument that, similarly to the viola d’amore, has resounding open strings that emphasize and eventually complement the harmony. The fictional resonant strings are evoked in the tape and keep changing their tuning throughout the piece, adding flexibility to the harmonic content. The recorded part is reproduced on stage through a single loudspeaker positioned at the back of the soloist, as if the sound were coming from the violin itself. The sound quality of the recorded music matches that of the live performance. The length of each phrase – apart from those regulated by the written clock ticks – is left to the will and imagination of the performer, following the suggestions in the score. The decision on durations is informed by both stage and recorded parts, which are unique for each interpreter.
The timing of the piece is based on the juxtaposition of free, calm, and meditative lines and the regular tick of an ideal clock, representing Kairos, the perceived inner time, and Kronos, the physical time. Starting from a regular clock tick, the performer starts theatrically pulling the music out of the mechanical repetitiveness of the clock, like a taylor operating a loom. All the movements are big and theatrical: imagining to pull, coil and weave a sonorous thread into the fabric of time.