hout en snaren (2008) a piece of music for violin, loudspeaker-object and live-electronics
written for Susanne Zapf
commissioned by November Music
The object is made of wood and iron wire.
In this piece, the source material of the violin, wood, and strings, is the main focus (“hout en snaren” is Dutch for wood and strings). Besides the violin, also a loudspeaker object, constructed out of a tactile transducer, wood, and strings, is playing. The loudspeaker object is an archaic counterpart to the violin, and is wild and chaotic. As opposed to the violin, its strings are not put up cleanly, but free to vibrate with the sound.
The set-up for hout en snaren.
The tactile transducer sends all the sounds through the wood and strings. With the help of live electronics, the sounds of the violin are transformed and played through the loudspeaker object. The object is also brought into making visible vibrations by the loudspeaker, in a similar manner to such pieces as in blik and Luftschlösser im Bau. The difference, though, is that this time, the loudspeaker object has a counterpart in the form of the violin, similar to the organ pipe and the wind instruments in Im freien.
The violin player and loudspeaker object interact in different ways during the performance. At the beginning, the violin sound is reproduced through the loudspeaker object:
Later on, the violin player controls the loudspeaker sound with the volume of the violin sound. The louder the violin, the faster the loudspeaker object vibrates:
At the end of the piece, the loudspeaker object is no longer directly controlled by the violin, but now plays its own musical material, controlled by the live electronics performer sitting in the hall: