Photo Credit: Erik Tham Photography
Quasi una macchina (2017, rev. 2021)

Scoring: fl, cl, vn, vlc, pf

I. air — passepied
II. tempo giusto; quasi una macchina

The Callithumpian Consort
June 2018, Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice New England Conservatory, Boston, US
Jeffrey Means, conductor
Rachel Beetz, flute
David Angelo, clarinet
Gabriela Diaz, violin
Stephen Marotto, violoncello
Aya Yamamoto, piano

Second Prize, the 3rd International Composition Competition GMCL / Jorge Peixinho, Lisbon, Portugal, 2017
Jury includes Ivan Fedele (chair) and Gerhard Stabler

Performance(s) history:
- June 2018, The Callithumpian Consort, IDITAROD
Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice New England Conservatory, Boston, US
- Feb 2018, S.E.M. Ensemble, Emerging Composers Workshop Willow Place Auditorium, Brooklyn, NY
- Nov 2017, Grupo de Música Contemporânea de Lisboa (GMCL) Cine Joaquim de Almeida Theater, Montijo, Portugal

Duration: ca. 13 minutes

Program notes
        Quasi una macchina was gradually reproduced from my previous work, parastrata, almost unconsciously and seamlessly. Thus, this piece can be regarded as a sequel or an extention of the anterior work, or a tablet which complements a diptych. The heterogeneous and automated algorithmic process which drove parastrata like a “body-without organs” consequently coerced an epiphanic direction of energy towards totally unpredicted terrain, similar to a birth of a bewitched creature without having any self-consciousness. Therefore, this sequel can be regarded as a testimony to how a simple unicellular structure can evolve to an almost “alive” musical entity through certain melo-harmonic and rhythmic experiments with repetitions, evolutions, and mutations (as of machine learning, or more precisely, a machine awakening.)

        While writing this log of becoming process, I tried not to involve my consciousness but limit my role inasmuch as an administrator throughout the overall trajectory, such as closed-loop or unsupervised learning model in AI programming. Finally, in the 2rd movement, this humanoid begins to compose a new passepied, which is totally inhumane and far from commonsensical man-made artworks. The ultimate purpose of this latter part was to discover an utterly pristine musical creature; at the same time every single organ of the creature is a causatum of preceding events with a relatively simple network. While the prequel renders a genesis of waving cellular network, this two movements—sequel can be regarded as a process in which a creature created from the nexus of multi-strata is recursively creating another creature (in this case, passepied.) The fully saturated shrilling harmonies generated by FM formulae helped me to animate this android-like clangorous soundscape; a sonic facsimile of natural acoustics —twilights before the sunlight.