züchtung #6 Instrumentation Voices - Sonovox Strings

züchtung #6 Instrumentation Voices - Sonovox Strings
züchtung #6
Based on “La Inapetencia” (“die Appetitlosigkeit”), by Rafael Spregelburd (2000,
Suhrkamp). “La Inapetencia” is the first part of the heptalogy “Los siete pecados
capitales de Hieronimus Bosch” (2000, 2010)
from almost closed to slighty open.
Strings - Tapebow
The strings (with the exception of the contrabass) have the function of the chorus. They
are transformed into tape-machines with the help of the “tapebow”, a restructured
Duration: 7'45''
The bows of the strings are modified by attaching a magnetic tape with prerecorded
material to the hair of the strings. In order to "play" this recording, the tapehead of a
tape-player is attached to a practice mute and fixed to the instrument. The tape-player
is always on, its output routed through a mixer to achieve a balanced amplification. The
sound-engineer controls the general level for the amplification following the score (see
“Sound Engineer”). If necessary, noise reduction is applied to this signal.
Soprano (+ sonovox)
Baritone (+ sonovox)
Flute (+ melodica)
Oboe (+ melodica)
Clarinet (+ melodica)
Baritone Sax (+ melodica)
Percussion (see "Percussion"):
Drum ad lib.
Slinky + Resonator
Piano + Midi Keyboard + Computer
2 Violins + Tapebow (see "Tapebow")
Viola + Tapebow
Cello + Tapebow
Contrabass (5 strings)
Noise Reduction and Amplification for the tapebows
Voices - Sonovox
The voices in this scene sing only sporadically. The most of the time they act as
resonators of other instruments, superimposing their vocal qualities, their colours
and formants to an instrumental sound. This is possible with the help of a device
similar to the legendary sonovox, used in the early days of animated films. In this
case the device consists of two contact speakers (for instance, the VISATON EX45-S)
each contained in a muting enclosure. When these speakers are pressed against the
laringe, they excite the air inside the laringe and resonate within the vocal tract in
exactly the same way as the air coming from the lungs. This means that the sound
injected in the singers throat is modified by the vocals and “sounding” consonants
that the singer pronounces, even if he or she does this “mute”, without using any air.
In fact, the singer is asked to whisper the texts without emitting any sound of his or
her own.
For this, all the wind instruments and the contrabass are microphoned, not with the
objective of amplification, but in order to route, as it is indicated in the score, the
sound of each instrument to the contact speakers of the singers. This results in a
very faint sound, as if the singer was singing with the colour and the pitches of the
instrument. Because of the very limited volume of the resulting resonance, the
singers must be generously amplified.
At some rare occasions the singers do, in fact, sing. Normal singing should not be
amplified: the singers move away from the microphone during these actions.
Normal noteheads are sung away from
the microphone. White noteheads are
whispered without air very close to the
microphone while pressing the contact
speakers against the throat. The
indication above notates whose sound is
being routed through the contact
speakers. This information is not
intended for the singer, but for the
person triggering the routing changes.
The indications above the notes notate
the opening of the mouth. When
pronouncing /u/, it is possible to change
gradually the shape of the mouth from
very closed (which would be all black
here) to more open. Here the transition is
The most effective way of projecting the sound of the tapebow is with a contact speaker
attached to the instrument itself. In that way, the sound comes effectively from the
instrument and eventually brings the strings to resonate.
The devices are provided in its entirety by the publisher together with the rest of the
materials. Prior to a performance the singers involved in the project must record one
text fragment each, as it is of great importance that there is a correspondence between
the voices on stage and on the recording.
With the tapebow, sound is only produced by movement. A fast movement produces a
compressed sound, a slow movement a stretched sound. Down bow generates a
forward sound, upbow a backward (rewind) sound. The absolute position of contact
between the bow and the tapehead is also of great importance.
The bow is divided in 3 sections: frog, middle, tip. Each section has an original duration
of 7 seconds(in total 21 seconds). This recording of 21 seconds is transferred to tape
with a speed-up of 168% resulting in a tape of 12.5 seconds. With normal cassettetape, this duration corresponds to a length of 60cm.
Frog: Baritone recording. The Baritone records the fragment at the end of the
notes (see “Texts”). The totality of the fragment must be recorded, resulting in
an audio file of EXACTLY 7 seconds. To achieve this it is possible to first record
the text and then manipulate the tape in a DAW, to compress it somewhat if
the singer cannot say the text within the given time constraints. Any silence in
the tape should be avoided, and must be filled with either breathing noise or
any other kind of static noise.
middle: each instrument is different.
violin: signal sounds. This recording is given (see “Extra Files”)
viola: Soprano recording (similar to the baritone recording, see
“Texts” for corresponding text)
cello: a descending scale
In this example the notation indicates a
sudden change of absolute position of
contact, jumping between the frog to the
tip section within a fraction of a second.
If possible, the transition should not be
audible if it is not indicated explicitly (this
is not always possible).
tip: an excerpt of the song “bizarra”, part of the soundtrack of the play in its
original form. This recording is given (see “Extra files”)
This list is here only for reference, the tapes themselves are provided by the publisher
once the two recordings have been made.
In correspondence with this division, the bow staff is divided in six regions (each
section is divided in two for more accuracy in the notation): the two lower regions
correspond to the frog section, the two middle regions to the middle section and the
two upper regions to the tip section.
Here the ruler gives greater precission to
the gesture while at the same time by its
presence indicating that this precision is
A general accuracy is necessary throughout the piece. In the places where it is
specifically needed, a small ruler is attached to the note to make it easier to know
where to put the bow in contact with the tapehead and as an indication that greater
accuracy is needed here. (see the examples below)
In order to have a sense for the speed of the movements, a "sonic" grid has been
attached to the recordings, in the form of a constant amplitude modulation of 12Hz.
This means that in order to play at "normal" speed (in order to replicate the original
sound at its original pitch) then the player should attempt to hear a
& every 8th note.
Moreover, it gives a means of practice and control for the sections where the
movements are confined to very small portions of the bow. It is in fact possible to
move so slowly as to arrive at the "grain" of the recorded sound, where the appended
grid becomes an audible rhythm.
The bows are marked to reflect the six regions used in the notation.
The staff indicates the movements of the
bow. only the movements of the bow are
relevant -the left hand is not used.
The bow clef indicates at each time
which fraction of the bow is in contact
with the tapehead. A line going up, like in
this example, is translated in a downbow movement.
The angle of the movement indicates the
speed of the movement. In the example
above, the resulting speed is more than
30 times the "normal" speed of
reproduction. In the case here, the
resulting speed approx. 20 times slower
than normal. An horizontal line is in
normal conditions meaningless, since
without movement there is no sound.
Here an horizontal line is accompanied
with a tremolo.
Dynamics within quotation marks are
used to indicate width or shape of
movement which would result from
performing the given dynamic in a
norma context. In this case, the
crescendo at the end indicates an
increased width of the tremolo.
When a great precision in terms of speed
of bow is desired, a resulting rhythm may
appear as in this example. In these cases
the rhythm refers to the grid
superimposed to the recorded sound,
which is audible in the form of a
"tremolo". In this case one should play at
a speed in which the movement results
in the written rhythm.
muted pizz., as high as possible on the
lowest string. The result is a dry attack
without any pitch.
Where the notation is not accurate
enough to notate very slow speeds, the
number of "grains" of the amplitude
modulation are given as indication of the
speed. In this case, the [3] stands for the
number of "grains" that should be heard
for each movement (3 grains downbow, 3
upbow). The slowest speed is [1].
Retake the bow for each gesture. It
should sound as much as possible as a
textual repetition.
The dashed line between the gestures
indicates that the next gesture begins
exactly at the place in the bow where the
first one ended. As an interruption.
Only when the movement is so small that
it cannot be notated in the score it makes
sense to use the up-bow and down-bow
Its the only string instrument which plays normally. A 5-string instrument is needed.
The lowest string is tuned down a 1/8 tone.
Mallets and mallet sets are never indicated. The player should be able to find the
arrangement which fits him best.
The piano is used only in its last octave. All notes should be muted with tape or
similar, leaving the range F#7-A7 unmuted (C4 is the central C)
The player also has a MIDI keyboard with at least a range of 61 keys, used in the
range C2-C7. The keyboard is connected to a computer running the patch and its
output goes to an amplifier in front of the keyboard. The part is notated in two staffs,
where the lower staff is only for changing parameters of playback. The notes in the
upper staff generate sound: each keyboard key plays a fragment of each of the three
different bows, as if this sound was frozen.
The notes in the lower staff do not generate any sound, they only change parameters
in the granulation synthesis engine. With these control commands it is possible to
variate the speed, the grain-rate and the grain-size as specified below. One important
thing to notice is that since these changes only take effect with the next action of the
upper staff, their execution in time does not need to be accurate. In fact, the given
notation is just one suggestion.
The control commands are divided in two:
normal commands: these are notes of the lowest octave (D2-H2), which
control de grain-rate
The glockenspiel is just a normal glockenspiel. A mallet (or any object) to
play clusters is necessary near the end.
A megaphone is used to rub the skin of a drum. One such megaphone is part
of the materials of the piece and can be sent upon request. The megaphone
should be always on and resting on a surface with a soft cloth beneath to
prevent that it moves. It should be pointing away from the player and most
important, away from the drum to be rubbed, in order to avoid any kind of
The drum used in connection with the megaphone is ad libitum. It should
have real skin in order for the friction to generate any sound. It should also
sound quite different in the center as in the edge. In fact, in the edge it should
be possible to generate quite high coloured noise. Good examples are bongos
or tumbadoras. During an action the pitch can be emphasized by applying
pressure to the surface with the free hand.
A superball is used to rub on three surfaces ad libitum. These surfaces
should have distinct forms of resonance, from high to low, and can be chosen
from either other instruments used in the concert, tables, etc.
Slinky + resonator (a.k.a. Star Wars gun).
Attach its upper part to a drum and fix the lower part to the floor. When hit it
should produce a sound like that of a laser gun in a science fiction film.
Hi-hat. Just a normal hi-hat. This little fact means that you will probably play
seating, so the other instruments must be arranged accordingly.
prefixed commands: one of the lowest notes (C2 or C#2) together with any
other note of the keyboard. In these commands, first the prefix note must be
played and, while holding it down, the second key
Upper staff - The ranges of the three bow
regions. Each bow region is divided in 16
Rub the microphone of the megaphone against
the skin of a drum. The result is a noise band
with changing color as the contact place
Control – Bow Change.
D = cello
E = viola
F = violin
Hi-hat. Black noteheads indicate actions which
are *not* produced by hitting the hi-hat. In this
case, "bow" the hi-hat with a reibestock while
closing it. The last sound of the gesture is the
sound of the cymbals against each other.
When pressed, they change the meaning of
the upper staff actions
examples are in F clef.
Hi-hat. White noteheads indicate hitting actions
(with wooden sticks). The position indicates
whether the hi-hat is totally closed, somewhat
open or totally open.
Control – Prefix Commands
Chords which have the lower note either C2 or
C#2 are prefix commands. They must be
played as in the example, the prefix key always
Hit the rim of the drum. Look for high, resonant
Control – Grainsize
Via these six commands the grain-size
changes from 5ms up to 500ms.
Rub a superball against one of three surfaces
chosen beforehand. These surfaces can be
anything that gives a steady resonance.
Control – Grainspeed
The grainspeed is controlled with C#2 plus a
key between C3 and C5. C4 is a speed of 1x
(normal playback speed).
Control – Grain-rate
The number of grains per second can be
controlled via unprefixed notes or note
combinations in the indicated range. Each
note has a specific value. To achieve speeds
greater than 11Hz any combination of these
notes can be played as chord.
Each wind instrument uses also a melodica. Four melodicas are part of the materials
of these piece and are sent together with the parts. These are 37-key melodicas. Each
player holds the melodica on their lap and should be ready to switch instruments very
Flute. Lip pizz. with some air
Another way of notating a muted sound.
At the end of the note, remove the fingers
suddenly to produce a very clear cut
(keep blowing)
Flute. Lip pizz, only tongue
Blow air from a distance across the
mouthpiece. A pitched resonance should
be heard.
Shadow glissando. The glissando is not
heard, it is audible only as a sort of
Numbers in circles indicate different
fingerings, the higher the number the
greater distance to the original (normal)
Bisbigliando with two alternate fingerings
Rhythmical changes of dynamic produced
by adding and removing keys.
Romboid noteheads indicate a very pure
sound, almost like a sinusoid, without air
noise and with a very clear timbre.
Transition between a cluster to a chord
Flute. Trumpet sound WITH the
embouchure on. The crossed-square note
is the resulting pitch, which sounds a
minor seventh lower than the fingering
used (finger F4 in order to get G3). The
round note should be sung. The dashed
note above is a shadow pitch (a
summation tone) resulting from the
frequencies. The voice should be quite
faint in order to blend well with the flute
Difference tones. The lower note notates
the approximate pitch of the difference
tone produced by the higher notes. It can
vary according to how well tuned the
melodica is. Also by overblowing the
tuning is affected, which also affects the
difference tone. They are notated only to
make clear that what is actually
important in these passages are in fact
these tones.
Melodica. Bisbigliando can be produced
by pressing up and down a key HIGHER
than the written, at best one of the
highest ones. Because the higher the
note the more air is needed to start
sounding, if the air pressure is kept
constant, pressing a key means deviating
air, which results in a change of dynamic.
Morse. The slashed note should be
pressed only half way and short and
irregularly (the notation is only a
suggestion) to produce a morse like
Press the lower key only half way to
generate an unstable sound. The pressed
key is very near to the difference tone and
should produce beatings.
The same as above, but trilling with two
notes (like a piano trill). At best the two
highest notes (E6-F6)
Similar to the bisbigliando trill but using
a cluster of notes to generate a very
marked change of dynamic. When the
rhythm is indicated, this means the
down- and up- presses.
[tk]: double or tripple tonging
Sound Engineer
The sound engineer has two main functions. One is to control the overall dynamic of
the sound projection (strings, keyboard, singers). The second one is to route the
different instruments to each singers contact-speaker as indicated in the score. To
clarify the first (overall dynamic), the score has indications of dynamic for the
amplification, in the form of [ pp ] or [ mf ]. The amplification of the singers is
independent from this indication.
For the live routing of signals to the contact-speakers an assistant should be appointed
to perform these changes by following the conductor, possibly on stage via a midi
Where the note used with smorz. is high
itself, care must be taken to avoid that
the notes used to produce the smorzato
start sounding.
Baritone – Text to be recorded with an exact duration of 7 seconds.
Ich fühlte mich absolut lässig. Im Zirkus waren drei Typen. Ich hab mich ihnen hin, damit sie
mir in den Arsch ficken. Sie erzählten phantastische Geschichten, Nummern von gezähmten
Schweinen. Dann liess ich mich züchtigen.
Muted sound. The same technique used
for smorzato, here made explicit in order
to achieve a very controlled change in
Soprano – Text to be recorded with an exact duration of 7 seconds.
Wirst du hierbleiben? Ich hab Hunger. Ich rufe die Pizzeria an. Willst du Polenta? Ja, ich habe
doch schon gesagt. Zweimal Polenta. Hast du gesagt, dass man sie schneiden soll, die Pizza?
Die wird immer geschnitten. Mmm, lecker.
Extra Files
Some extra files are available for download at www.moguillansky.com/zuchtung6.
These include:
a patch to control the midi keyboard
a video tutorial and demo of the contact-speakers
audiofiles corresponding to the sections of the bow which do not need to be
Complete text (original and translation)
Original Text of the scene
MANN, FRAU PERROTA (his wife), LEILA (the daughter)
FRAU PERROTTA zuhause. Ihr gegenüber LEILA, ein Mädchen von ungefähr zwanzig
Jahren. IHR MANN sitzt am Tisch. Ein laufender Fernseher verschärft die Pausen mit
klirrendem Elektrosmog.
MANN: Habt ihr schon gegessen? Wir können ja Pizza bestellen.
MANN: Ich fühlte mich absolut lässig. Ich ging zum Zirkus (Roncalli): die Arena ist
demontiert. Drei Typen waren da. Ich gab mich ihnen hin, damit sie mir in den Arsch
ficken. Mein Kind: damit enden deine Erwartungen, mit uns eine Durchschnittsfamilie zu
MANN: Einer war der Verwaltungsdirektor. Sie hatten kein Glück hier und ziehen weg.
Wir haben Kaffee getrunken. Ich kriege Sodbrennen vom Kaffee: ich habe nur zugehört.
Die erzählen phantastische Geschichten, Nummern von gezähmten Schweinen. Wir
sprachen von der Zukunft. Ich sag mir: es kann sein, daß ich mitreise. Dann sind wir
zurückgelaufen: ich ließ mich nochmal züchtigen.
FRAU PERROTTA: Wirst du hierbleiben?
MANN: Sei still, bitte.
FRAU PERROTTA: Ich habe Hunger. Ich rufe die Pizzeria an. (Wählt eine Nummer). (Zu
ihrem MANN). Willst du Polenta?
MANN: Ja, ich habe es dir doch schon gesagt.
FRAU PERROTTA: Zweimal Polenta.
MANN: Hast du ihm gesagt, daß er sie schneiden soll, die Pizza?
FRAU PERROTTA: Na ja, die wird doch immer geschnitten.
FRAU PERROTTA: Ich habe noch zweimal Polenta bestellt.
LEILA: Mmm, lecker. Papa, du blutest.
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