Concert on 12 June 2011 at the Orff Centre Munich, Whitsun Symposium 2011
Sounds on Schön Berg La Monte Young
vocal exercise in hymnody for string trio with
live electronic ring modulation ad libitum, op. 39
Wolfgang von Schweinitz
Michaela Buchholz – Violin
Klaus-Peter Werani – Viola
Hanno Simons – Violoncello
Mathis Nitschke – Ring modulation
“Composing tones means tuning them,” says La Monte Young, one of the American composers who provided important basic ideas for von Schweinitz’s research into new composition, “Harmony is periodic sound. The tonal logic that results from the exact tuning of the notes within a chord is expressed by different forms of uniform resulting vibrations such as beat (very slow), tremor (slow), roll (slightly faster) or rattling (fast). Generated with sinusoidal generators that can be adjusted to a millionth of a note, this can have a sawtooth sharpness, played with instruments by human hands, the result is softer, always of sonorous beauty and a new colorfulness.
The ring modulation described here is purely acoustic, but can also be produced and amplified by electronic ring modulation. I developed, supported with a music scholarship of the state capital Munich, ring modulators in the old transformer diode circuit, as it was used in the 50s. This circuit sounds fundamentally different than the simple digital multiplication of two signals, as it is used today in digital live electronics. It is of such sonorous beauty as acoustic ring modulation in the air.