Space Music

The idea for the series came about when playing in the mountains in La Sierra de Madrid with Paloma Carrasco (Cello) and Víctor Muñoz (percussion). After playing for a short time we quickly realized that there was something wrong, something didn’t feel right. We realized we were playing as if we were in a normal venue and we weren’t listening to or taking into consideration the envirnonment where we were,  and not only did it feel wrong, it felt somehow disrespectful. Therefore the series began thinking about what music can you play on a mountain.

My intention for Space Music is to create environmental music for specific places and times.

In this instance Space Music refers to a music that is an exploration of a place through sound.

Space Music explores a place’s acoustic and it creates music that is inspired by its atmosphere/history. It works with the environmental sounds present by sometimes reinforcing them or enhancing them, and at other times blocking them out, but always taking into account their presence and existence. Space Music is an intervention that is considered and thoughtful and is respectful to the environment where it is.

Space Music will be played at different times and seasons to enable the performers and audience to experience the natural changing soundscapes of a place and to experience how sound reacts differently according to time, i.e. early morning or late at night or with different atmospheric conditions. The performances of these pieces are unique live events and different locations should be chosen for the different pieces within the Space Music series, e.g. a forest, a village square, a busy city centre street, a mountain, the bottom of the sea, a living room.

Space Music gives an opportunity to the performers and audience members to connect and ground them musically in the environment and to experience it in unaccustomed ways and above all to listen to it differently.

The pieces are for any number of instruments or any other sound making devices. Other pieces in the series take the form of private performances where no sounds are to be made and where only a framework is given for listening attentively to the environment.

Any Space Music from the series can be played at the same with any other one.

Below are some scores from the series. Clink on the links to see them.

Space Music 1

Space Music 3

Here is a page from the performance notes for Space Music 4.

Space Music 4 notes.

The composition is in 2 parts and its duration is indeterminate. It’s for

six performers, five performers playing musical instruments or other

sound producing objects and the sixth performer using electronic

devises which are capable to be able to make sound as well as record the

sounds of the performance. The first performance of the piece is a

private playing of it where a recording is made of the composition; here

the sixth performer’s role should be to record it as well as playing the


From the 2nd public performance onwards and for all the future

performances of the piece the previous recordings must be played back.

When to play back the recordings, how and in what form has to be

decided by the ensemble, the only criteria is that it should display the

spatial, acoustical qualities and soundscapes of the previous


Therefore these recordings demonstrate the different environments

where the piece was performed, the sounds that were present in the

moment and what the acoustic properties of the different spaces were

where it was played. They are a memory of the space where the

performance took place.

In Part One (Light) or Part Two (Dark) of the composition, whenever or

wherever it is performed only natural light must be used. Whether played

outside or inside the use of any electric or other artificial light producing

sources must not be used.

Part One of the composition begins with the performers playing from the

score and moving through the cues at will. They continue to do this as

we move from daylight to dusk and then to darkness. When there is

insufficient light to read the score they personally decide when to move

to the 2nd part of the composition. It is advisable to observe the

changing light situations beforehand of the environment where the

composition will be performed to calculate possible lengths for Part One.

Part Two (Dark) of the composition is a directed improvisation and the

three directions A, B or C of this must be memorized by the performers

beforehand. The sixth performer must be able to continue performing

and from the 2nd performance onwards, play back the recorded sound

into the space in complete darkness and without any light emitting from

the electronic devises.

Space Music 4

Space Music 4 (español)

Space Music 5

1 thought on “Space Music

  1. Pingback: Conciertos y actividades. Junio 2014 » Asociación MusicaLibre

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