String quartet, live processing.

antichamber evolved out of a piece written in 1998, at a time when I was exploring ways of creating polyphony from a single line. In this case the idea was a ‘voice’ which is constantly splintering into 4 parts and then again into multiple shreds via the live electronics. What has changed and evolved in the last ten years is not the original part for the quartet but the live electronics. This is partly due to the problematic of the live electronic medium, that technology develops and it is sometimes more difficult to replicate a set-up on a defunct computer operating system, than to create a new one, and then why not bring a new interpretation to it?

On the other hand the technology of the string quartet hasn't really changed in the last hundreds of years. Playing styles have changed , and the social function of the quartet seems to have undergone the most radical changes, we listen to this music in concert halls and in recorded media, it no longer takes place in small rooms. Then can we still in fact call it chamber music?

The development in our spatial perception of music, and increased sensitivity to timbral information has somehow taken the place of the traditional musical parameters. Real architecture spaces have been partially superseded by virtual spaces created with microphones and speakers, both in live and recorded music. So the definition of 'chamber’ becomes even more fluid and removed from its original definition.

In antichamber the idea of the space where the music happens is a relevant one, the splintered quartet lines are live sampled then flattened out and thrown against a two dimension space in front of the listening perspective. As if the quartet is casting light reflections on a screen in front of us, or in an adjacent non-space.

excerpt of score from antichamber
excerpt of score from antichamber.

The piece is recorded on the Antichamber CD available from Unsounds.

Antichamber CD cover