Tasten for saxophone quartet, piano, percussion and a building (2014, 15’)
First performance: Oranjewoud/The Netherlands, Museum Belvédère, May 23rd 2014, by Amstel Quartet (saxophones), Yoram Ish-Hurwitz (piano), Ryoko Imai (percussion), for Festival Oranjewoud
Music needs a building, a space, an acoustic, to reverberate well. But how does a building sound itself? Stone, metal, wood, glass, plastics and the electric circuits that are present in any building are the familiar but unusual sound sources for Tasten. Six musicians play the building, and their own instruments as well. They create a sound world in which they eventually become the soloists.
At the start of the piece each of the players travels through the building, creating sounds, rhythms and patterns along the way. These are picked up by microphones and sent in real time to the audience, which is gathered in a central space/auditorium. With cameras and screens, the audience can watch the players’ actions as well. The musical coordination between the players is realized with stopwatches and a score with an exact time structure.
One by one the players arrive in the space where the audience is, and continue the piece on their own instruments. This way, the musicians gradually merge into a real sextet. However, the sounds of the building do not disappear. The composer has stored them in real time in his computer and injects them back into the piece through the mixing desk. The piece finishes with a “tail” of the building sounds.
Marinissen has composed sections of music for each of the six materials the building consists of. These sections are elaborated and expanded in the course of the piece. The six materials also appear in the percussionist’s set of instruments.
Since each building sounds different, so does Tasten. In its first season, Tasten was performed in three museums: Museum Belvédère/Festival Oranjewoud, Groninger Museum/Peter de Grote Festival, Hermitage/Grachtenfestival Amsterdam.
Tasten was composed with support from the Fonds Podiumkunsten.