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Torino. Salone Internazionale del Libro, May 2012. NECESSITY (PART I). SUMMERTIME.

Faenza (Ra), September 2011. spannung performance - a preview from.

Carroponte, Sesto S.G., Milan, July 2011. spannung performance intro.



The following text has been written in the occasion of the event related to Arci Prize for musical experimentation awarded by Romina. It took place at Carroponte (Sesto San Giovanni, Milan) in July 2011and promoted by Centro Musica Contemporanea.

The event's program refers to the phase of work prior to its date and not to the Spannung album tracklist currently in production or to future performances related to the project.


Presentation of performance and project

[by Romina Daniele]

«Spannung» is the compositional project currently in production since 2009 for RDM Records, some of the new compositions will be presented during the performance.

«Spannung» is the term with which Martin Heidegger indicates the opening, the space, the tension (and the yearning) of being in the size of the authenticity of existence[1]: never properly discussed, corresponding to the state of research, it requires close and new ways each time, away from clichés and intellect and compositional schemes.[2]


Along with the studies carried on for more than ten years in the philosophical an literature field as in that of vocal research and studio sound composition, the music with new technologies is elected as research device, superior to every other one, in the study on the human being; in the same way, the voice is the most powerful mean of human expression,      from      an      anthropological,

 physiological, and linguistic point of view. The axis for the project and work is, in a more direct way, the urgent relations between the musical and philosophical conceptions. 



[Voice, electronics, texts, all the compositions by Romina Daniele.  Additional credits are noted; period of composition in brackets, unpublished in red, additional credits follow]


Tommy Moore [2009-2010]

Necessity (part 1) [2009-2010]

Text from: J. Derrida, L’écriture et la différence, Parigi, Seuil, 1968;

tr. it. La scrittura e la differenza, Torino, Einaudi, 2002, p. 5.

Matter [2008-2010]

Materia [2007]

Echo [2002-2007]

Fallacità (take I) [2002-2007]

Fallacità (take II) [2002-2007]

La Natura Assente [2010-2011]

Summertime [2002-2011]

by George Gershwin, from Porgy and Bess, 1935.

Resonance [2009-2010]

Text from: J. Derrida, Forcener le subjectile, Munich, Schirmer/Mosel Publishers;

tr. it. Antonin Artaud, Forsennare il soggettile, Milano, Abscondita, 2005, p. 78.

All’esterno di me Spannung Version [2002-2011]

Vero (remake) [2004-2011]




The musical research begun with Diffrazioni Sonore (cd, 2005), a complex recording project focused on the relation between vocal improvisation and fixed sound composition by technological means, concerns the fields of extended vocals, technological arts, fluctuations between compositional and performative and/or improvised practice. It continues with Aisthànomai, the Tragedy of Consciousness   (cd,  2008)   in   the  field  of electronics as in that of poetical interpretations and vocality as human act, in force of an original aesthetic conception (from which the term Aisthànomai comes) corresponding to the linguistic research (on the vocal and compositional-electronical means) and philosophical (on the articulations by the perceptive system, on inter-subjective communication between creator-subject and audience-subject, on the necessity-will of knowledge and consciousness).

The size of the authenticity of existence and the state of research regard the relations, on which the compositional interest since the very first experiences is about. In particular: coexistence of different languages[3] to intend "different but not opposite", with the words of Gilles Deleuze[4], and "philosophical indifferentiation of grammars", with the words of Pier Paolo Pasolini[5]; so the relations: between composition and instinct, sound and noise, construction and dismantling, ancient and post-modern; between the well known structures of thinking and new senses and new articulations of thought to which we aim constantly. The uneasy interest to the relations is at all levels of the work: text, poetical and narrative, and the concept of textuality; music and dimensions of musicality; extended vocals from noise to sound, and not extended from recitative to operatic; electronics, with synthesis and/or concrete sounds and/or pure and/or transformed vocal sounds. Thus, each level works in terms of proliferation, by it-self and in relation with each other; so at all levels of the works: not the accomplishment but the opening, not the system nor its negation today system it self, but the tension, which is always action, force in action.

On the other hand, the opening, the space, the tension (and the yearning) of being in the size of the authenticity of existence, which is force in action, are the conditions of the state of research, from which comes the interrogation (and the constant tension towards it) about new sense and articulations of though and perception behind the well known schemes, feeding doubt and a whirlpool of feelings. So it is the presence and authenticity of the creative act, intellectual and expressive, compositional and performative, reticular and not genealogical as well; or rather it comes from the reflection on man to the music and viceversa, and it works, it only can works, trough music. This indicates a primary identification between the philosophical-linguistical research and the music, so in our exploration and moods, musical languages and grammars are adopted from the philosophical point of view.

On the one hand the work is focused on an emancipated conception of music and performance, in which dealing in the field of electronics (with synthesis sounds) and of electroacoustics (with vocal and/or transformed sound in studio and/or in live), we refer to the categories of music, from blues to the contemporary, in a field of crossing and indifferentiation; on the other hand the work is focused on the sound research and on the sound material composition, as in the field of vocalism as in that of electronics, and on the exploration of the sound wave in the frequency and time domains, in terms as poetical as scientific as well.

Material timbre resonance fixed sounds sound research and extend vocals from noise to melody, from delicate to aggressive, from recitative to scream, from hiss to guttural scratches, to the concreteness of temporality of human condition and to the size of authenticity of being, state of research and pure action: "tension of force itself"[6], with the words of Jacques Derrida, directly quoted in one of the new compositions.

The electronic device, like the music, is elected to the device superior to every other in the reflection on man an his reality: the electronic devices allow man to observe himself and his reality with an efficiency otherwise inaccessible, they are the more powerful means developed by man in order of this. This is about a detailed observation of the material and of the poetry of the material, on which depends every things, even the poetry of mind an its mechanisms. So it is for photography, cinema, electronic music, as in every field of human application and research, to medicine.

In the electronic and concrete music, the vocalism itself, like every kind of sound and noise, is analyzed and processed with an efficiency otherwise inaccessible. - Furthermore, the electronic music with which we work directly on sound corresponds, with its technical reproducibility, to the will of the author par excellence, not delegating to the performer the responsibility of creating or altering the sound substance which is the result of months and years of work, reflections, choices. -

In this line, from the point of view of the musical composition and creative action, and in consideration of the previous works, this project develops a fresh size and formal representation, regarding the relation-coexistence between poetry and poetical-musical conception and analysis with electronic device from which the technologies arts came: on the one hand the sound elaboration and transformation, on the other the pure poetry of vocalism which par excellence represents man both on the psycho-physical and organic-perceptive axis; the points of junction of the two poles: the research on the sonorous and vocal material.

Firstly, the voice is the main and direct expressive human mean, from the anthropological, physiological, and linguistic points of view; secondly, it is a musical instrument. In order to this, we work both with texts (poetical and/or philosophical) and intelligible vocals, with melodic and gibberish vocals. In the field of sound research, between the concepts of "sonorous object" and "musical gesture", and between music and technological arts, the emancipation of the human voice takes place as well: in the fluctuations between language and concepts and singing styles, and the detachment from the language and the singing styles, until being a pure material and sonorous object par excellence.


The performance starts with the very first unpublished composition written within the project, Tommy Moore [2009-2010]. Composed starting from additive synthesis and frequency modulation sounds, the piece is focused on the relation between the micro varied and imposing sonorous material, dominated by modulations between white noise and sawtooth, and a kind   of   operatic   singing varying its internal resonance and

marked by glottal strokes; while the sonorous stream jerks the synthetic thunders. From a technical point of view, the composition represents the emblem of the match-relation-coexistence between the so made sonorous masses and the reassuring melody with which it ends. From a conceptual and poetical point of view, it is also the emblem of the investigation of man on man declared as necessary: the character of Tommy Moore is one of the many presented by James Joyce in his Ulysses, as the background against which the adventures of the protagonist take place, mentioned occasionally a few times. The metaphoric reference is not connected to the alleged adventures of the character; it is connected to Joyce's writings techniques, in which the characters do not need any historical context and the narrated events are a very excuse for the author who subverts the language and the narrative concept itself.

The operation, often called stream of consciousness, has strong and ramified linguistic and philosophical implications[7], and so the metaphoric reference does: we deduce that man still lives into the unconscious-inconsistence of the existential, intellectual and psycho-physical condition; moreover we deduce the limits of the known language and the transparent adhesion to this or that system of rules; we deduce that to create, in any field and in an interdisciplinary and reticular point of view, it means creating - aiming to create  with every possible and new means - the same language structure with which to work, starting from the decay of known structures.[8]


A part of the composition  Necessity (part I) [2009-2010]  follows; we are presenting here as well this new piece written during the very first compositional period of the project, and composed starting from additive synthesis and frequency modulation sounds, from the micro varied mass of ferruginous and/or industrial sounds, beaten by a single percussive stroke, the same every time. A passage from

 Derrida is declaimed: «Anguish, also of a taken away breath, by itself, to return to itself. Because to speak is to know that thought must take a distance from itself.»[9]  The passage is recited more times, with tune and timbre variations, until becoming a melodic progression, in a blues and/or jazz style, clearly in conflict with the sound materials; since the reiteration of the passage implies a reflection so deep in mind and in the feelings to keep the voice away from the same passage, from the words, from the language, with which it manifests itself and from which it twists itself, to keep the voice close, like an exorcism, to more graceful and more tormenting feelings.

The reflection implied is about language and writing, and represents one of the most loved and felt concept by the quoted thinker, connected in its turn to very technical and specific reflections on: human though system, its instruments, the language used in the word and so as thought, the real and not verbal substance of thought which probably exists before the language (?)

The unpublished piece Matter [2008-2010], is a variation work and English version within the project of the previous Materia [2007], published in Aisthànomai, the Tragedy of Consciousness; it bridges to the part of the concert dedicated to this previous compositional project and record, of which the pieces Echo, Fallacità (take I), Fallacità (take II) [2002-2007] follow as well.

In the first and second pieces, the work is mainly on the internal resonances within the harmonic-based sound streams that is the background against which the vocals take place. With text, first in English then in Italian, it expresses its plasticity trough masks and ranges, more directly than wherever else during the concert; in the other pieces, the ideal both noisy and melodic counterpoint of the relation between the different voices or streams is added to the work on the internal resonances within the harmonic-based sound streams. It is about the detailed previous work of constructing sounds and spatialization; on the one hand regarding the same relations as the coexistence of different elements[10], and on the other regarding the idea of the between compositional as "the prolongation of the past into the present".[11]


The different voices are both vocal (according to the compositional way based on editing started with Diffrazioni Sonore[12]) and of electronic nature. Rigorously, time does not beat anything in all of this, except the repeating bass sounds which progressively come out to remark the vocal phrases as the sonorous masses in the first take of Fallaciousness, to be more evident in the second one. The texts of these compositions are poetic, both in Italian and English; the complete versions can be found in Aisthànomai and are focused on the concept of the "apprehension to the research" referring to  the individual consciousness.

Characterized by a vocal improvisation part, the electroacoustic composition La Natura Assente [2010-2011] is part (like the following piece) of a more recent or second compositional period, within the project, unpublished as well.

The original version of the composition is spatialized on four channels and, like all the work we are presenting here, it is conceived on the fixed sound which means its final and definitive form coincides with the reproduction support and/or the spatialized reproduction.[13] Here we are presenting the live electronics version with some variations related with live processing on live voice, which works against a background of pre-transformed sonorous materials as results of very long steps of works otherwise not presentable.

Human voice is the only original material, transformed or used in the amplified form, in a continuous fluctuation between recording and transforming. The electro-vocal composition comes from the multimedia usage of voice, since all of it - phonetics, anthropology, musicality, reference to intelligible discourse and to real or emarginated textuality - works within the electronic device.

The methodology at the base of the work is spectromorphological, the main techniques are manipulation and interpolation. On the one hand, transformation is mainly starting from extended vocalism, complex sounds, sub-harmonic and noisy sounds; on the other hand it regards a kind of structural and homogeneous morphing between original sound and constructed sound, paying attention to the recognizability of the human sound source, varying in relation with the different moments of the composition.

The poetics of the work carries on as well a constant fluctuation between lost of sense and intelligibility, and implies strong linguistic-philosophical reflections connected with the relation between man and nature; extremely conceptual, the text consists of passages chosen by the namesake original poem, paying attention to the pure musical and sonorous values.[14]

The investigation on the relation between technological means and poetry through the vocal possibilities has exactly extended the work to the creation of electronic sounds, with particular reference to the groups of concepts already described: Voice-matter-nature. Electronics-sound-technique. Language-text-concept.[15] So, considering the following piece as well, this composition can be defined as emblematic of the study and work of which


the concert that we are presenting here is representative. 

Our version of Summertime [2002-2011] by George Gershwin follows; the dialectical relation with the previous composition (unpublished as well) is emblematic of the relation-coexistence between poetical-musical conception and analysis and technological arts in which we work: where before there was sound elaboration and transformation, now there is the pure poetry of vocalism, and the points of junction of the two poles, however: is a research on the sonorous and vocal material.

The version we are presenting here does not elaborate so much of the sonorous-musical stream, which, with the tunes reduced to the minimal harmonic, is focused once more on the internal movements of sound; it works on the sonorous-vocal material from a more plastic point of view.

In the first part of the piece, the singing of the original English text is immediately expressive as it works in the middle range, strongly empathizing the tradition between blues, jazz and popular music, historically intended; in the second part asserts itself with an incisive operatic-like tune clearly connected with the original opera which the piece is part of (Porgy and Bess) -, but working in a such revisiting way in which every word or textual form are eliminated and the singing itself is de-structured until materialization in the same breath or scratch, within the dramaturgical and material agitation of the performative action.

At this point, the final part of the performance presents the following pieces:

Resonance [2009-2010], belonging to the first compositional period of the unpublished compositions (Tommy Moore and Necessity), traces the way presented so far on the compositional and poetical reflections of the very starting point of the project. The thunderstorm of sounds and their mass are the background against which the voice sings in relation with a synthetic bass sound, in a similar way but jumping on the three ranges of which the distance and difference come out, and pronouncing just four words from the original passage in French: LeTTRe [letter] Être [being] AuTRe [other] ÊTRETÉ [be-ness]. The words, taken from the Derrida's essay on Antonin Artaud[16], and which are quoted here exactly in the same graphic form used by Derrida, are synthetically and conceptually referred to the mentioned  problematic issue described in the second piece, Necessity (part I), with the addiction of further references and considerations to the Artaud opera as to the relation between this opera and the Derrida's interpretation, as to the same language philosophy of this latter.


All’esterno di me [2002-2011] is the new version of the namesake piece published in Aisthànomai in 2008, which is in the same way of the previous Summertime for what concerns the musical conception, to focus the work on the pure vocalism poetry away from every language, regarding the vocal-sonorous material. Voice uses operatic tunes working on its internal resonance and docile and feverish tunes agonizing at intervals, to end

with a totally de-constructing live processing part, in which the classical melody turns into synthetic percussions jumping on the stereo channels; while vocals, with mainly operatic tunes, jerks into an ideal duet with the computer transformations.

The experience precedes that of the piece which, in different variations, closes each performance from the beginning of the activity, Vero (remake) [2004-2011]. Originally composed for fixed sounds (published in Diffrazioni Sonore) and not intelligible vocal material, the piece has been presented for recitative voice (the poems There are no illusions for me to the question and Absence (or my threshold pain) since Aisthànomai was published (2008).[17] Today it is presented for extended recitative voice with a passage from Ascenseur pour l'èchafaud (France, Louis Malle, 1959) scenario movie which was the subject of the study we conducted, during the same time we worked on Aisthànomai not occasionally, on the relations between sound and imagine, and connected with all our work as well.[18] We worked on this passage with the pieces Dix Ans, Vingt Ans, Nuit sur les Champs-élysées (take I) e Nuit sur les Champs-élysées (take II), published in Aisthànomai as well[19], of which the last two are tributes to Miles Davis, taken from the movie soundtrack.



[1] Cfr. M. Heidegger, Seit ut zeit, Tubingen, Max Niemeyer, 1927 [tr. it. Essere e tempo, Milano, Longanesi, 2001].



We are going to give here a picture of the study at the base of the works in a more summarizing and concise possible way.



«Regarding the (formal) structure: I always was been interested in the so-called  "entre-deux-coup-de-dés" by Deleuze: the between of the composition, the most ambiguous  part of it. So the objective is to exalt the terms of the construction-sensation relationship, not as conflict but as several extensions.» Cfr. Diffrazioni Sonore theoretical line text, cd booklet (RDM Records, 2005-2010).



G. Deleuze, Différence et répétition, Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, 1968, tr. it. Differenza e ripetizione, Milano, Raffaello Cortina, 1997.



Cfr. P. P. Pasolini, Empirismo Eretico, Milano, Garzanti, 1972, pp. 9-28. In particular: «"Philosophical indifferentiation of grammars". I draw the meaning that is closest to me from the interpretation of this definition: Indifferentiation of linguistic codes of a philosophical nature. Indifferentiation of linguistic codes starting from ?cognitive? research. Non-individuability of codes (linguistic grammar is the system, emblem of every system) within cognitive research.» Cfr. R. Daniele, Aisthànomai, il Dramma Della Coscienza, theoretical line text, cd booklet, RDM Records/Romina Daniele, Milano, 2008.



J. Derrida, L’écriture et la différence, Parigi, Seuil, 1968; tr. it. La scrittura e la differenza, Torino, Einaudi, 2002, p. 5.



Cfr. R. Daniele, Il dialogo con la materia disintegrata e ricomposta, un'analisi di Thema (Omaggio a Joyce) di Luciano Berio, RDM Records and books, Milano, 2010. In particular, the subject is discussed in the paragraph 3, pp. 31-46.



A preliminary discussion regarding this matter, related with the more specific essay discourse today in production, is in: R. Daniele, Aisthànomai, il Dramma della Coscienza, theoretical line text, cd booklet, RDM Records, 2008-2010.


[9] J. Derrida, La scrittura e la differenza, cit., p. 11.



Rif. R. Daniele, Aisthànomai, il Dramma della Coscienza, cd booklet, cit. In particular: «In this sense we see the return of the subject of diffraction: the post-structuralist idea of the "open-text", where, in Diffrazioni, I pointed to the philosophy of Deleuze. Post-structuralism deals with French culture through the thought of a few key personalities; thought that has its origin in the central idea of productive human force as such. What I call acting, working in the sterile sores of a common language where concepts such as "centre", "structure", "field" hold sway; in favour of a "non-common" activism that tends instead to "decentering", "proliferation", "displacing". Language and textuality have to undergo a reversal. In this sense, the basis of what I put in motion is to be found in Derrida: from this starting point, the text is not a definite system but an "open circularity continually redefinable and irreducible to a unity". It is a chain of postponements that presents itself through difference: denying any all-understanding rationality.» [Cfr. J. Derrida, La scrittura e la differenza, cit; G. Deleuze, Logique du sens, Minuit, Paris 1969, tr. it. Logica del senso, Feltrinelli, Milano, 1975; G. Deleuze, Differenza e ripetizione, cit.; C. Baudelaire, Saggi sull’arte, Milano, Mondadori, 1999; R. Barthes, Le plaisir du texte, Paris, Seuil, 1972, tr. it.  Il piacere del testo, Torino, Einaudi, 1973.]



Cfr. Diffrazioni Sonore theoretical line text, cd booklet, cit.; H. Bergson, Matière et memoire. Essai sur la relation du corps à l’esprit, Paris, Alcan, 1896; tr. it. Materia e memoria. Saggio sulla relazione tra il corpo e lo spirito (a cura di A. Pessina), Roma-Bari, Laterza, p. 200.



Cfr. Diffrazioni Sonore theoretical line text, cd booklet, cit.



 Rif. M. Chion, L’Art des sons fixes ou La Musique Concretement, Fontaine, Editions Metamkine/Nola-Bene/Sono-Concept, 1991; tr. it. L’arte dei suoni fissati o La Musica Concretamente, Roma, Edizioni interculturali, 2004.

[14] Cfr. R. Daniele, Poesie 1995-2005, cit., pp. 80-87.



Cfr. R. Daniele, Aisthànomai, il Dramma della Coscienza, cd booklet, cit. In particular, electronics must be considered in conceptual and practical relation with sound and technique (meaning technology) world; so as the voice must be considered in relation with material and nature world, language with text and conceptual world.



J. Derrida, Forcener le subjectile, Munich, Schirmer/Mosel Publishers; tr. it. Antonin Artaud, Forsennare il soggettile, Milano, Abscondita, 2005, p. 78.



Cfr. R. Daniele, Poesie 1995-2005, cit. The second mentioned poem is also used in the namesake composition currently in work within the project.


[18] Rif. . R. Daniele, Ascenseur pour l'èchafaud, il luogo della musica nell'audiovisione, cit.


[19] Cfr. Tracks 5,6,7 of the mentioned record, which includes the related text in the booklet. © Romina Daniele: all the works on this site are copyrighted