early compositions, towards the end of 1970s, were written in a style deriving
from impressionism. My interests were particularly concentrating upon the
harmonic, vertical aspect of musical composition: in this I had been influenced
by my first teacher of Composition, Bianca Maria Furgeri.
Skrjabin’s works, often constructed upon a unique chord which incessantly
undergoes continuous transformations, have been an important reference point. In
Skrjabin’s “Prometheus”, for example, the basic chord, as a matter of fact
named “Prometheus chord”, preferably connects with its transpositions at
ascending and descending minor thirds and tritone intervals. Practically, all
chords placed along the axis of a diminuted seventh are considered as belonging
to a unique family, as they connect more frequently among them than with others.
In studying the various possibilities of connecting any chord with the
transpositions of itself, I came to the point
of identifying real modal
families which are proper to every chord, given by the larger or smaller amount
of notes in common in its transpositions.
research had some contact points with the set-theory. In particular, the
“interval vector”, formerly theorized in the 1950s by Hanson in his classic
“Harmonic Material of the Modern Music” and then developed further by Forte,
is nothing but a numerical succession expressing the notes in common between a
given set (chord) and its proper transpositions: on the basis of the set taken
into consideration, the possibilities may remarkably vary.
I started to compose several pieces based on a unique chord, which used to
connect with itself according to planned transposition levels.
After indentifying one reference (fundamental) note of the chord, a series of
more or less complex numbers indicated the succession of the transposition
levels: if the series repeated itself cyclically, longer or shorter canons would
derive. In transcribing the numerical series upon a geometrical figure
corresponding to the dodecaphonic whole (a dodecagon), there would derive more
or less complex geometrical figures, which I have named musical
a sort of regular division of the sound space; I have also worked out
colour graphical transpositions of some successions, assigning one colour to
every pitch, so as to compose lively multicolour
panels, with various pictorial
and decorative techniques.
The first piece composed after this technique was “Fughetta su un solo
accordo” (1986); in deepening the potentialities of this composing approach, I
continued my research with several compositions as “Rodion” and
“Organum” (1991) and with “Tre Caleidocicli” and
"I Nuovi caleidocicli”
(1991), all of which were created upon the transpositions of a unique chord,
often accompanied by its opposite or by complementary one. In “Moto perpetuum”
(1991) the chords used were two, precisely the major and the minor
triads; in “Notturno”, on the contrary, the material used was
exclusively based upon three four-note chords, which altogether completed the
dodecaphonic whole. “Riflessi lunari” (1990) and
two opposite instrumental groups, were created upon a unique chord and their
opposite. The latest compositions written according to this system date back to
1995. More recently I have written pieces using a more varied harmonic material,
in particular “Acquerelli abruzzesi” and “Sei liriche su testi di Agnese
Metta” for soprano and piano, where it is possible to perceive Mediterranean
echoes and frequent
reference to the Italian melodrama tradition. Besides, it is worth while
mentioning a few series of piano pieces which develop freely the theory of
transpositions of a unique chord: “Tre Studi” (1994), “Due Danze”
(1996), “Opposite-Scherzo” (1997), “Cinque Preludi in forma di
variazioni” (1998), “Toccata e Ciaccona” (1998), “Variazioni” (2000).
I have always paid particular attention to the so called “light” repertoire
and to “common” music, composing pieces for CD ROM, publicity intermezzi,
music for documentary films, music for films and arrangements.
theoretical research is particularly condensed in my treatise “Organizzazione
delle altezze nello spazio temperato”.
contemporanei. Compositori e musicologi, panorama biografico”, by Otello Calbi,
Edizioni Cembalo, Napoli 1994.
Quaderni di Octandre, 13,
italiana dei compositori contemporanei”, by
Pagano Editore, Napoli 1999.
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