Adriano Guarnieri – …fili bianco velati…

Contemporary Italian composer Adriano Guarnieri’s piece …fili bianco velati… (roughly translated to veiled white strings) for solo violin and live electronics is a fiery, blistering  piece. While Guarnieri does let the music ease up at times, the piece is frequently extremely impassioned and aggressively so. For the performer this piece is very difficult because not only because it is unrelentingly virtuosic, but the player is being tracked by multiple cameras that use spatial information to adjust musical parameters like delay so all movements must be extremely controlled and precise. I really wish that there was a video of this piece being performed so I could get a better appreciation for the spatial demands asked of the performer in this piece and to see when he is triggering foot pedals. Some of the sounds that are generated from the combination of acoustic and electronic components are really incredible; there are many times that the lines become so blurred between the two that they become indistinguishable. I especially like when the violin reduces volume to very soft levels while being harmonized and sent through delay electronically, when lower tones emerge from the electronics that thicken up the texture, or when texture is created from reverb effects.

While this piece is certainly enjoyable to listen to in a recorded format, it must be incredible to see done live in concert. I think the subtleties, like the eight speakers projecting different effects on the violin signal, would be much more discernible and would add layers of depth to the experience.

I am attaching two videos in this entry. The first video is a short film that features some explanation from the composer, sound designer, and performer on various aspects of this piece. This was very informative and I would highly recommend watching this before embarking on the listening to get a good idea of what’s going on technically. The second video is just an audio recording of the piece.

Enjoy the music!

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