I wrote this piece for my friends Juanjo Guillem, Rafa Gálvez and Iván Ferrer-Orozco from a group NEOPERCUSIÓN based in Madrid. Its premier performance happened at the Ensems Festival in Valencia, Spain in May 2019.
The piece was then played again by the musicians of the ensemble wasteLAnd - Matt Barbier, Weston Olencki and Dustin Donahue - during their residency at Harvard University. The recording of this performance is available for you online.
The instrumentation and analogue electronics are represented on a scheme below with an exception of a subwoofer controlled by the performer in the center.
Many thoughts in Silenced were inspired by the writings of Rebecca Solnit, especially by her book The Mother of All Questions. As a program note for my piece, I chose those lines from her book, which resonate with me and the piece the most:
"Silence is golden, or so I was told when I was young.
Silence is the ocean of the unsaid, the unspeakable, the repressed, the erased, the unheard. It surrounds the scattered islands made up of those allowed to speak and of what can be said and who listens. Silence occurs in many ways for many reasons; each of us has his or her own sea of unspoken words.
Silences built upon silences, a city of silence that wars against stories. A host of citizens silencing themselves to be accepted by the silenced. People meeting as caricatures of human beings, offering their silence to each other, their ability to avoid connection. Dams and seawalls built against the stories, which sometimes break through and flood the city.
In the landscape of silence, the three realms might be silence imposed from within; silence imposed from without; and silence that exists around what has not yet been named, recognized, described, or admitted. But they are not distinct; they feed each other; and what is unsayable becomes unknowable and vice versa, until something