Georgia Kalodiki


Ways of interaction between form and material in contemporary music

In my music one could trace two alternative levels of musical thought in action. The first level is concerned with a theoretical physical dimension and involves the creation of imaginary acoustic fields in an effort to incorporate and explore elements borrowed from the different scientific views of how to represent or understand the physical world.

The advantage of this first approach is that the acoustic depiction of phenomena such as echoes or magnetization, have a very strong root in normal human perception, since physics is ever present in everyday life. For example, the repetition of a sound wave that fades away or the envelope of a sound are immediately recognizable phenomena -therefore the acoustic representation and elaboration of these phenomena creates the feeling of intimacy in the listener. After all, this way of conceptualizing the process of musical creation is just a source of inspiration to help in the stabilization of a clear relationship between the organization of material and the genesis of a musical form. They are two different ways of reaching the same point.

The second activity level of musical perception on experimental techniques (see Suspension and Balance for example) that were widely employed during the avant-garde period after 1945, and on a partially serialistic approach (mainly found in Six Sketches for piano). These pieces were composed in an effort to achieve the highest degree of unity and consistency. Some examples of the techniques applied are the diffusion of multiphonic sounds from the oboe into the string quartet (Suspension), the amalgamation of conventional and non-conventional sounds (Balance), and the dismantling of serial forms into a fragmentary web of pitch aggregates (Six Sketches).

With respect to the organization of material, it is important to note that a flexible interpretation has been made of the restrictions imposed by the systems found in these pieces (serial, chromatic, modal or exotic - see for example Atoma and Six Sketches).

I would like to conclude with an interesting final point - one that is common throughout the works in my thesis. At all times the organization of material in a piece is always related to the number of formal possibilities that my aesthetic judgment led me to employ in that piece. The number and nature of these formal possibilities give rise to the piece's overall structure and duration.

We could try to compare the results derived from my dual need to create works based on two alternative musical perceptual levels - on the one hand working with the representation of physical phenomena and on the other exploring the experimental world of musical ideas - without of course excluding their co-existence in a single piece. However one could hardly be able to reach a safe conclusion. That's because the charm of the contemporary art of sounds is that it can captivate the listener without them having knowledge of its inner constructive substance.

Ph.D. abstract