Christina Viola Oorebeek / Studio 2 October 1-5 & 8-12
Ma Jiamun, erhu
Christina Viola Oorebeek, elecx
on/*-/+/off (2009) for erhu and electronics
In the first weeks of September, I started the preparations for this collaboration with Ma Jiamun,”JJ”, virtuosic erhu player and improviser, for a performance in the 2009 Shanghai Conservatory International Electroacoustic Music Week on 10/21/09. JJ lives in Shanghai and the first exchanges between us were online, sending notes, and recordings of those notes, back and forth.
This helped the composition process, as I wanted my material to be idiomatic for erhu, and to allow space for live sampling as a counterpart to the solo part. So, hearing the recordings was very useful. The result of this exchange was a continuing reduction on my part of the material for the piece (up until the day before the performance).
Being in the studio at STEIM gives me a reality-check on the project at hand, improves my concentration and somehow changes the way I perceive the music. Sorry to sound like an advert for a spa ( : . Using Lisa with only the Korg Nano-controller provided more than enough possibilities to prepare the patch. Working for the first time with dynamic recording zones in Lisa, combined with designing the use of the Nano, affected the way I used the live-elecx. I am moving, in my way, to a more flexible use of live elecx. Here, a word of thanks to Daniel and Robert for their expert support!
I needed to test the material with live players and learn to play the piece, myself, which was a race against time. Jellantsje de Vries, violinist, and Fang Weilin, erhu player living in Eindhoven, were gracious in working with me to this end, at STEIM.
The onsite collaboration with JJ began 5 days before the concert in Shanghai and the performance went well, for what I experienced as a first exploration in the direction of a more fluid form of composition/improvisation. JJ’s playing was fantastic!