Zinc & Copper with Jan-Peter E.R. Sonntag

monochrome compositions for brass, sonArcs & sonD-Double Bass

1. Neuronal Modular (2003/2006) for laptop and two singing high voltage plamsas // sonArcs

The piece explores similarities between the processing of units of information within the human nervous system and polyphonic compositional techniques of the Renaissance. The clearly recognisable Leitmotiv is a sound sequence from the hacked space gun chip, taken from the composer’s ‘Spacegun Bagatelles’ from the mid ‘90s. The four-part ‘Neuronal Modular’ was originally conceived in 2001 for a dance-theatre piece by the choreographer Pablo Ventura and was rearranged by Sonntag in 2003 / 2006 for sonArcs, an instrumental chain starting from a laptop whose line signals are used to amplitude modulate two high voltage plasmas. This was developed together by Sonntag and his team based on experiments by William Duddel and Nicola Tesla. It is therefore a purely electrical / electronic instrumental chain at the end of which the air molecules are brought into vibration by the sudden changes in temperature in the domesticated lightening between two uranium-hardened electrodes - truly electronic music.

2. Bassa#4 (UA) for sonD-Double Bass and Lars Gühlcke 

In 2015, as a side project in the fresh interpretation of Helmholtz’s apparatus for combining vowel sounds, Sonntag and his team developed an interface that electromagnetically feeds back the four strings of a double bass, allowing them to vibrate permanently. Bassa#4 is the second microtonal composition by Sonntag for his sonD-Bass and the bassist Lars Gühlcke, who plays up to four simultaneous glissandi in parallel motion. +

3. monosonar#2 (UA) for Zinc & Copper, playback and ALTEC 800 mono

This world premiere for the three brasses of the trio Zinc & Copper is the main piece within the program. The piece draws on Helmholz’s categorization of intervals from harmonious to disharmonious, based on the attempt in the middle of the 19th century to explain the degree of roughness between two musical tones, which he had already shown to be comprised of simple partial tones, as depending acoustically and mathematically on the beatings between the combination tones. The piece is still in development and parts of it will also be transmitted by means of digitally processed sounds of the same instruments played over a historically horn sound transducer system from the legendary ALTC 800 series.

Zinc & Copper
Robin Hayward. mikrotonal tuba
Hilary Jeffery, trombone
Elena Kakaliagou, horn
Lars Gühlcke, sonD-Double Bass
Jan-Peter E.R. Sonntag, composition & sonArcs