Works - Zeno Baldi
15385
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Solo set (2017)

Electronic solo set: pedals, contact microphone, sequencer and percussive synth.
Semi-controlled / semi-improvised, it explores a simple loop of guitar harmonics, magnifying it live into unpredictable and unexpected grooves and textures.

Bonsai (2017)

for Ensemble

Commissioned by Divertimento Ensemble
Instrumentation: Fl/Cl/Perc/Nord dr./Vn/Va/Vc/Db
Première:            06.06.2017 @ Piccolo Teatro Studio Melato, Milan (IT)
        Divertimento Ensemble
Duration:             10’ ca.
Published by:       Casa Ricordi

VIDEO

L’arte bonsai procede lentamente, si tramanda per generazioni, è un’opera mai finita che segue lo sviluppo della pianta con pazienza, cura e precisione.
A questo tempo dilatato si contrappone uno spazio ridotto, una miniatura della versione originale, che esprima in scala la stessa energia della pianta a dimensione “normale”.
Lo sviluppo/crescita in (e di) uno spazio ristretto è il concetto principale che guida questa composizione, sia nella scelta del materiale usato che nell’articolazione della sua forma. Suoni come tronchi e rami di bonsai, assecondandone la crescita, indirizzandone le curve, piegandoli, adattandoli, stringendoli nello spazio limitato in cui nascono, vivono e muoiono.

Morene (2016)

for Amplified Doube Bass

Commissioned by Manu Mayr with the support of SKE Fonds
Instrumentation: Amplified Double Bass + Pedals
Première:            25.08.2017 @ JazzFestival Saalfelden (AT)
        Manu Mayr
Duration:             15’ ca.
Published by:       Casa Ricordi
Morene” is the result of a close collaboration with the eclectic bassist Manu Mayr.
We had several work sessions at his studio in Vienna, starting from abstract ideas, developing together the piece’s sonic material, defining pedals set-ups and at last rehearsing and recording the final score.
The three movements of this composition – Triti (trite/crushed), Ritriti (trite, several times), Detriti (debris) – are meant as different expressions of a main, common idea: a geological image.
Moraines – sediments of glacial debris – have a double process, both of accumulation and deterioration, erosion, fragmentation.
Following this concept, the double bass – amplified and processed through 2 pedals – becomes at the same time the place and the tool for material’s accumulation and corrosion, where repetition leads to sound erosion, where lines becomes points, grains, vanishing dust.

Lo sciame all'interno (2016)

for Orchestra

Commissioned by Fondazione Teatro la Fenice, with the support of Marino and Paola Golinelli
Instrumentation: Orchestra
Première:            04 March 2016
        Orchestra del Teatro La Fenice
        Omer Meir Wellber
        Nuova Musica alla Fenice
        Venezia (Italy)
Duration:             6’
In ambito zoologico (e figurato), la parola “sciame” – insieme a stormi, banchi, branchi, mandrie, colonie – indica una moltitudine di animali, persone o cose in movimento.
La teoria dello sciame (“swarm theory”) – elaborata alla fine degli anni ’80 e sviluppata partendo dagli studi sul comportamento animale – analizza i sistemi auto-organizzati nei quali un’azione complessa scaturisce da una sorta di “intelligenza collettiva”.
In particolare, gli stormi di uccelli o gli sciami di insetti sociali (come formiche o api) sono in grado di risolvere problemi di elevata complessità senza un sistema di controllo centrale, grazie alla somma di azioni elementari: milioni di interazioni semplici generano un comportamento collettivo ampiamente complesso, dando vita ad una sorta di super-organismo.
Proiettando questo modello sulla massa orchestrale, ho cercato di gestire il suono complessivo secondo una logica multiscala (scala di grandezza, non -musicale), in cui la complessità a livello macroscopico derivasse dall’azione/interazione fra singoli componenti semplici, o viceversa che un’apparente staticità su larga scala (armonica, ad esempio) derivasse in verità da un’incessante movimento interno, microscopico. Come cellule nel tessuto musicale, gli “oggetti musicali” possono essere percepiti diversamente a seconda della scala temporale in cui sono utilizzati, qui immersi in molteplici articolazioni fino a svanire nel suono d’insieme, dentro lo sciame.

Kintsugi (2015)

For Clarinet and tape

Commissioned by Heather Roche [Heather Roche Composition Competition]
Instrumentation: Clarinet in Bb and fixed media (audio tape)
Première:            09 February 2016
  Heather Roche, Clarinet
  Brixton East 1871, London (UK)
Duration:             9’
Published by:       Casa Ricordi
Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold.
Besides being a technique, it includes the philosophical attitude of considering breakage and “mistakes” as something beautiful and valuable, as an important part of the object’s history.
Following this idea, I collected sounds of different sources and “broke” them into fragments, and then recollected this heterogenous sonic world (clarinet, sounds of different animals and insects, pure waves, morse code etc.) into a fixed media tape. The dialogue between the clarinet and tape develop through very close frequencies, confusing the distinction between pitch and pulse through the exploration of harmonic roughness and beatings.

Klangsauger (2015)

For Pipe Organ

Commissioned by AVAM Society
Instrumentation: pipe organ with drawknobs
Première:            16 July 2015
  Deniel Perer, organ
  Tempio della Rotonda
  Rovigo (Italy)
  Callido Project
Duration:             9’
Published by:       Casa Ricordi
Klangsauger is written for pipe organ with drawknobs, originally for the Organ at Tempio della Rotonda in Rovigo, built by Gaetano Callido. The piece seeks to explore transitory areas of sound, through the slow  opening/closing of the air flow through the drawknobs. A polyrhythm of beatings, immersed in several layers of noise and microtonal frictions, is the ground for the entire composition, used for their specific rhythmic quality. The performer is not anymore focused on the movements of fingers on manuals/feet on pedals, but on the delicate control of stops, dealing with the thickness, the colour and the harmonic structure of sounds in constant mutation.

Principio di Archimede (2015)

For 5 instruments

Commissioned by Fondazione Teatro la Fenice
Instrumentation: Flute, Clarinet, Marimba, Violin, Cello
Première:            09 July 2015
        Ex Novo Ensemble
        Festival Lo Spirito della Musica di Venezia
        Venezia (Italy)
Duration:             3’
Wasserklavier (from Luciano Berio’s “6 Encores“, 1965) is a short piece that investigates the potential suggestions connected to the concept/element of water, particularly in relation to the submerged layers of memory. Principio di Archimede maintains a similar aphoristic form, but trying to approach the idea of water from a different angle, without musical reminiscences nor quotes that emerge to the surface. The underlying idea of this small composition is rather the image/picture – sadly present nowadays – of a lifeless body floating on the high seas, abandoned to a slow deterioration. An illusory stasis, denied from tiny movements that constantly alter its regularity.

Melting POinT (2015)

For Orchestra

Instrumentation: Orchestra
Duration:            7’
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Spikes (2014)

For Viola d’amore and Tape

Instrumentation: Viola d’amore and tape
Première:            20 April 2015
        Marco Fusi, Viola d’amore
        Kompakt
        Bundeshaus zu Wiedikon
        Zürich (Switzerland)
Duration:             8’35’’
Published by:       Casa Ricordi
The tape’s sources of this piece include a heterogeneous mix of instrumental and acoustics recordings, bioacoustical fragments of insects, and synthetized sounds. The degree of proximity between the instrument and the fixed audio tape constantly change, leading to section of tight affinity or wider contrast. The constant element running under (or above?) the rest for almost the entire duration of the piece, is the rhythmic pulsation of spikes, a set of periodic “faults” (fast transients in an electrical circuit) rearranged in regular patterns.

Buonadomenica (2014)

For Soprano, Bass and large Ensemble

Written for ManiFeste Academy
Instrumentation: Soprano, Bass
  Fl, Ob, Cl, BCl, Bsn, Hrn, Tp, Tbn, Perc, 2 Vn,   Va, Vc, Cb
Première:            28 June 2014
        Juliet Fraser, soprano
        Jimmy Holliday, bass
        Ensemble Intercontemporain
        Julien Leroy (conductor)
        ManiFeste Academy
        104 Centquatre
        Paris (France)
Duration:            5′
Published by:       BabelScores
The extracts I chose for the piece are taken from the theatre play “Pornobboy”, by the experimental Italian Theatre Company Babilonia Teatri. Here’s a short description from the Authors:
“Pornobboy is a snap shot of our time. Of reality and its contradictions. It sniffs out for our incoherence, to laugh at them. Cynically. Lovingly. The core of the show is the constant bombing by media. The way we live and perceive all that, our being part of it, the need to show, to show off, to watch, to see everything. We live under the cross fire of an addictive communication system. We are morbidly attracted by pornographic elements, by gruesome details, by news commentaries that only report facts without ever questioning their causes and effects. There is an invincible incapability to divide what’s public from what’s private, a perpetual intertwining of levels, a sort of schizophrenia nourishing us every day. Pornobboy is not a preach on sex, it’s a blob on our saturate present.
Everything is pornographically put on show, we all gloat on it,
we are scandalized by it, we drown in it.”

Rami (2014)

For Violin and Chamber Orchestra

Instrumentation: Violin and Chamber Orchestra
Première:            24 April 2014
        Domenico Nordio, violin
        Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto
        Dario Garegnani, conductor
        Teatro Ristori
        Verona (Italy)
Duration:             7′
Published by:       BabelScores
In 1968 the Hungarian biologist and botanist Aristid Lindenmayer developed a formal language (L-systems), used as a model to describe the growth of living organisms, in particular the expansion of plants’ branches.
This generative grammar, composed of elegant and (relatively) simple algorithms, is used to simulate and graphically model the morphology of several organisms, but also to analyse the mechanisms of growth.
The system consists of an alphabet of symbols that, through specific rules, expands itself in a wider string of symbols, and a mechanism transforming the strings in geometric structures.
This process has been used – freely and with many exceptions – to shape the composition’s form, to manage different musical elements and constantly changing figures (in the orchestration, in the harmonic structure etc.), but keeping a common Self-similarity.

Mimo (2014)

For 5 instruments

Written for Divertimento Ensemble
Instrumentation: Cl / Pf / Vn / Va / Vc
Première:            30 January 2014
        Divertimento Ensemble
        Sandro Gorli (conductor)
        Rondò concert season
        Gallerie d’Italia
        Milano (Italy)
Duration:             9′
Published by:       Casa Ricordi
Mimo (Italian for «Mime») deals with the concept of mimesis at various levels.
The scenes of the piece follow the presence/density of musical elements, considered as expressions of a musical face in constant development, as if they’d be the tiny eyes/wrinkles movements on a silent actor’s face, able to revolutionize the action through his expressivity.
The australian superb Lyrebird (mimus polyglottos) has the impressive ability to mimic many natural and artificial sounds from his environment. Fascinated by this idea of “sonic camouflage”, I tried to consider each element of the ensemble as a mime of other sounds (from other instruments and not only), through the preparation of the instruments with little home-made simil cork objects.

Cantor dust (2013)

For 6 instruments

Written for Voix Nouvelles (Royaumont)
Instrumentation: Bsn, Hrn, Tp, Tbn, Perc, Db
Première:            14 September 2013
        Lemanic Modern Ensemble
        Azis Sadikovic, conductor
        Royaumont Abbaye
        Asnières-sur-Oise (France)
Duration:             7’ ca.
Published by:       Stradivarius
The structure of this piece is based on one of the first mathematical processes that enables the construction of fractals, known as Cantor dust (or Cantor set).
The iteration of this model produces a self-similar geometrical structure, in which the initial material becomes more and more fragmented at each passage; the white space (better said, the space obtained through subtraction) gradually increase, until just the crumbs – the dust – of the original material remains.
This reduction and geometric fragmentation is translated into temporal proportions of the piece: a (temporal) segment of always same duration is repeated, but its internal organisation changes and increases at each passage.
This piece was written during the “Session de Composition – Voix Nouvelles” at Royaumont Fondation.

Koroviev (2013)

For Bassoon solo

Instrumentation: Bassoon
Première:            20 July 2013
              Federica Ragazzi, bassoon
              Conservatorio “G.Verdi”
              Milano (Italy)
Duration:            8-9′
Sezione vuota. Modifica pagina per aggiungere contenuto qui.

In punta (2013)

For 5 instruments

1st prize at AFAM Composition Competition
Instrumentation: Fl / Cl / Pf / Vn / Vc
Première:            03 April 2013
        Divertimento Ensemble
        Sandro Gorli, conductor
        Rondò concert season
        Auditorium Sole 24ORE
        Milano (Italy)
Duration:             9’ ca.
Published by:       Stradivarius
The piece takes inspiration from the poem “Acrobata” by Edoardo Sanguineti, gifted with a playful vocabulary and a rhythmical – but at the same time suspended – pace.
In particular, “procedere in punta” (“proceed on tip”) is the main image, used several times in the poem, which I tried to translate and articulate into the musical texture, giving each time a new meaning:
– “in punta di piedi” (on tiptoe) becomes a rhythmical alternation between balance and instability.
“in punta di mani” (on fingertip) is translated through the gestures of the performers (pizz., punta d’arco etc.)
“in punta di forchetta” (on tip of a fork) is transferred to dynamic- and register’s limits.
The intension therefore is not to paraphrase the poetic text, but rather to freely draw from the wide set of symbolic, phonetic and perceptual suggestions offered from the words and their sound.

Distillato (2012)

For Saxophone Quartet

Instrumentation: Saxophone Quartet
Première:            17 May 2014
        Jonathan Radford
        Antonin Pommel
        Giuseppe Laterza
        Pablo Sanchez
        Conervatoire C.N.R.
        Versailles (France)
Duration:             8′
Sezione vuota. Modifica pagina per aggiungere contenuto qui.

Marmonda (2011)

For 6 pianos

written for the “Mass Piano Project”
Instrumentation: 6 pianos
Première:            09 March 2012
        RCS Piano Ensemble
        Stevensal Hall
        Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
        Glasgow (Scotland)
Duration:             8′

La fabbrica in-granata (2011)

For 12 instruments

Instrumentation: 2 Cl, Hrn, Tp, 2 Pf, 6 Vc
Première:            Spring 2011
        Kug Ensemble für Neue Musik
        Giedrė Šlekytė, conductor
        Mumuth, Graz (Austria)
Duration:             6′
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Impasto teso (2010)

For Wind orchestra

Instrumentation: Wind orchestra and 2 Percussions
Première:            14 March 2011
        KUG Blasorchester
        Julija Domaseva, conductor
        Minoritensaal,
        Graz (Austria)
Duration:             11′
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