Taken as an evening-length experience, the pieces of Body to Noise present diverse ways in which the work of the physical human body can be translated to sound and how music can shape or be shaped by the body. The seed of this exploration is a collaboration between flutist Stacey Pelinka and composer Amadeus Julian Regucera. Throughout her performing career, Stacey has performed and championed contemporary music by emerging and established composers of our time through her work with the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble and the Eco Ensemble. In Body to Noise, she presents works by composers Amadeus Julian Regucera, John, MacCallum, and Toshio Hosokawa – music that draws on the various aspects of the body’s physiology – and maps it to music.
Toshio Hosokawa’s starkly poetic “Atem lied” (“Breath song”) creates a haunting relationship between the performer and her instrument, each augmenting and subverting the other, a tense push and pull between “breath” and “music,” between the voice of the flute and the voice of the flutist, and between the melodies of the past (Lieder) and those of the ever-fragile present.
The recent work of composer John MacCallum keenly focuses on using technology to map biometric data to instrumental and electroacoustic music. “Limn” uses cardiographic data to create an electronic soundscape that, in its intimacy and repetition, is both sensuous and eerie. In this world, the flute and cello attend to a delicate dance with and against the electronics’ pulse, one which reflects our own unsteady relationship with the continuousness of our bodies and the relentlessness of time.
“The trauma you keep safe is the pain you pass along,” is a visual diptych for performer and flutist. If read biographically, the piece is a psychological study of how trauma lives in one’s body and how it’s possible for it to be passed along to another’s. Like a visual diptych, it is presented in two panels where the physical and sonic energy is shared and passed between the two. An uncanny relationship emerges and the observer is forced to reckon with its unfolding.
Written as a coda to “The trauma you keep…,” “Pendant” modulates the urgency and anxiety from the depths of the diaphragm to the claustrophobic aperture of the piccolo. The heavy music is thinned out in a kind of instrumental filter – by giving this music to the piccolo, it is emptied out and all that is preserved of the old music is a threadbare, frantic cycle that threatens to wipe itself out into silence. Of course it eventually does.
Atem lied (1997), Toshio Hosokawa
for bass flute alone
limn (2015), John MacCallum
for flute, cello, and electronics
Leighton Fong, cello
The trauma you keep safe is the pain you pass along (2015, rev. 2017-18)
for bass flute and performer
Amadeus Julian Regucera, composer/performer
Pendant (2018), Amadeus Julian Regucera
for piccolo alone
Total duration: c. 40’
**program presented without intermission