shadows (2006)



At the end of the year 2005 Uwe Dierksen, whom I knew since his impeccable version of

'rockaby' in 1997 and who is one of the very few trombonist able to play the piece how I

envisioned it, asked me for a piece for the 2006 Damstadt Summer Courses for New Music,

where he was the trombon tutor. At the time I was very involved with electronic music and

improvisation, trying to opening new paths to my music, so his request seemed to me

somewhat difficult to fulfill, since I didn't felt the neccesity to write any piece of music,

my concern at the time being the verge of the moment at an improvisation; and of course,

electronics. So I proposed to him to use material I was working on independently,

giving him a core upon which he could improvise, after my instructions. I sent him the whole

electronic part of the piece so he could practice and shortly before the Courses we met and

run through the piece three or four times. I wasn't wrong, Uwe could interpret my intentions,

his improvisation fitted the piece wonderfully.


'shadows' is an effort to reincorporate the liveliness and power of a more spontaneous kind of

music (think of Improvised- or Rock Music) into so-called New Music, which is mostly based upon

the idea of exclusiveness.


The piece is built upon a rhythmic unit that was structured and organized by the composer:

the whole electronic material is derived from an improvisation cell (duration: one second)

that was filtered, looped and then time and pitch processed. It is joined by two recorded

instruments: an electric guitar and a KAT Mallet Midi Trigger (which triggers a computer

based Absynth synthesizer) played by the composer himself. The trombone performs live,

following the directions of the composer: beginning, development and end of the piece

are fixed, as is the entire character of the improvisation.


The piece can be also played as live trio (wind instrument, electric guitar or

electric -amplified- violoncello -, mallet Midi trigger) plus electronics.


'shadows', named after the film by John Cassavetes, was conceived

at the request of Uwe Dierksen and is dedicated to him.






© héctor moro / photo © internationales musikinstitut darmstadt