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Dacapo - The National Music Anthology of Denmark

Format:  SACD

Catalogue Number:  6.220628

Barcode:  747313162864

Release Date:  Oct 2015

Period:  21st Century

Review


LARS GRAUGAARD: VENUS

04 November 2015  CHAIN D.L.K.
Vito Camarretta
4/5 Stars
The use of computer by Professor Lars Graugaard on this collection of four suites, that he mainly composed for the emsembles of New York University Steinhardt in the successful attempt of searching a new way to melt classical composition with the sensorial and emotional spheres, is limited to the role of "connector" between the elements of this huge musical patchwork, whose sometimes puzzling complexity, I like to think, could render the likewise puzzling complexity of human emotions.

The four amazing compositions on this CD, which got financially supported by The Danish Arts Foundation, are based on instrumental textures, which often tap and reinvent a series of sonic strategies from movie soundtracks, improvisational and chamber music by recurring changes of sonic density, emotional setting, playing speed, tonal scales and counterpoints, are not just based on conventional compositional techniques as they are mainly based on new findings in IT research, cognitive and ecological musicology that tend to assign a rather important role to space, single performers and audience in the compositional process within the definition of the so-called absolute music, closer to listener's perception and emotions and more distant from commercial or other functional formulas of music itself.

Lars Graugaard experimental studies into the correlations between score notation, performance qualities and audio attributes with emotional recognization led him to the design of the software "Score Emotion", which manages to display a particular musical emotion's delimitation in score notation and symbolic performance instructions, which allows the composer to establish sequences of emotional significance and steer the composition on apath of real emotions.

According to the brilliant and thourough explanation by Chilean composer Alejandro Guarello
"Music is a sonic stimulus that primarily speaks to a listener's emotions, eliciting a response according to expectance and previous experience, in very much the same manner as any experience will move us. [...] What Lars Graugaard seeks, and of which the compostions on this CD are examples, is to enhance the composer's options as a sculptor of sound by systematically incorporating empirical information on notational delimitations of emotion responses into his software, so that it in turn will allow him to safeguard the consistency of his compositionalideas and materials on the one hand, while at the other to hold it within the range of the present emotion and its proper transtion, as the musical proceedings unfolds.".

The aim of the game could seem quite challenging, but check the result before stating that.



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