for clarinet and soundtrack (2019-20, 11')

Written for Michel Marang; first performance 6 June 2020, Theater Koroz / Dag in de Branding, The Hague, The Netherlands

The sonic basis of Shutterspeed is formed by the sounds of photo cameras from different eras, and tiny snippets from 250 years of clarinet music.

The composition process of Shutterspeed started with a recording session at Foto Koberl, a camera store in Graz, Austria. From their magnificent collection of vintage and present-day cameras, 21 photo cameras and one camera flash were selected, and their sounds captured by the composer. Shutter action at various exposure time settings was recorded, film transport, and for some cameras also the self timer, motor drive and/or camera start up. A complete list of the recorded devices is provided below.

Next, musical cells consisting of a single up to just a few clarinet notes were taken from works by Luciano Berio, Pierre Boulez, Claude Debussy, Giora Feidman, Ivan Fidele, Béla Kovács, György Kurtág, Reinbert de Leeuw, Olivier Messiaen, W.A. Mozart, Henri Pousseur, Franz Schubert, William O. Smith, Carl Stamitz, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Igor Stravinsky. These cells were isolated from their original context and turned into mere found objects to be used for recomposition and transformation.

With these two kinds of material a soundtrack was created, in which the camera sounds, primarily shutter action, envelope the clarinet 'snapshots', resulting in a music of sonorous 'stills', which were worked into an auditory 'documentary film' on obscure musico-archeological findings.

A clarinet part was then composed as the soundtrack's live counterpart,
commentating, connecting, accompanying, extending, embellishing and contrasting the enigmatic material of the soundtrack.

Shutterspeed was written for clarinetist and photographer/videographer Michel Marang, linking up with both disciplines and interests. He was also responsible for recording the clarinet snippets used in the soundtrack.conversation partners withdraw, and leave. Only one remains, calling out...

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