European American Music Distributors Company is a member of the Schott Music Group

Composers

Blog Archive

20182017201620152014201320122011

Newsletter

Christopher Cerrone's "The Insects Became Magnetic" Premieres at LA Philharmonic

On November Sixteenth, the Los Angeles Philharmonic will premiere their newly-commissioned work by Christopher Cerrone, entitled The Insects Became Magnetic. Cerrone's choice of title comes from a poem by Adam Clay, in which the poet elegiacally ruminates on nature, music, and materiality. Looking at a painting, birds become "the trash scattered in the air"; the hull of a car emerges; the poet responds with his own hope: "I hope the insects become magnetic // to eat plastic hillsides, to pull a drone down, even." 

Cerrone's composition reflects this merging of organic life with technology: it begins with sound heard as "noise", the squeal of a laptop's speakers feeding back signal from its own microphone. Clay's poem continues: "And music is the fluttering trash / in the collage or painting or whatever / we want to call it;" Cerrone that noise, that  "fluttering trash," and with the same laptop, began to manipulate it into something otherwise. This is not a simple transformation from noise to signal, but rather a kind of collage in which the distinction fades away. 

The collage is unabshedly poetic: electronic textures meld with insect-like, near-electronic sounds from an expertly-orchestrated percussion section, and delicate sonorities emerge from hyper-precisely notated wind, brass, and string sections. The effect of this piece is almost static, a kind of nocturnal rumination on gentle feedback. Indeed, listening to the piece mirrors the final vision from Clay's poem, of the music-like panting-collage in which insects become magnetic: "It is under glass so I place / my face up against the reflection and wait for it to pull me inside."

Related Posts