Prepared contrabass, live electronics [15′].

testudo is based on the myth of Hermes' appropriation of the Tortoise shell in the creation of the lyre. The contrabass is played horizontally and is prepared with the small resonators, and other objects. A multichannel soundtrack which acts as the signal for the score is played through the various resonators attached to the instrument. The soundtrack is made up of sounds synthesized from tortoise recordings transformed into synthesized sound and used to animate, with the help of the player, various resonant aspects of the instrument.

The character of the piece is ferocious, primitive and playful exploring aspects of performance that bring to fore the idea of an instrument in the making, the translation of bioacoustic signals into musical signals, and ancient concepts of possession as a model of music making.

The piece is dedicated to Dario Calderone, who premiered it at the Venice Music Biennale, October 2015.

Dario Calderone