Mexican-dutch composer Juan Felipe Waller's official homepage. His compositions often reflect a discourse between harmony and texture put through a 'lens of deformation'.
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Plato Plastic Dialogues

Length: 13'
Year: 2010
Type: Percussion Quartet
Performer: Ear Massage (premiere 2010)
Kroumata 



Instrumentation: disposable plastic plates

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Plato Plastic Dialogues In this piece I apply what could be called an "inverted-güiro technique", where instead of having a stick scrape through a grooved surface, it is a grooved stick that scrapes though a sharp angled surface, in this case that of disposable plastic plates. The stick is actually a 50cm long threaded rod, just like a screw, whose motion is handled with techniques much the same way to that of a violin's bow. The similarity is such, that I actually refer to stringed instrument terminology (such as spiccato, jeté, alla corda, etc.) to address the kind of articulation necessary. As is the case with any sound produced on grooved surfaces, the velocity and pressure applied will provoke an oscilation akin to a soundwave, thus determining the pitch created. Regarding the plates' acoustics, their thickness and flat malleability serve the purpose perfectly to amplify the vibrations. They also have a varied array of corners and sharp edges to which the grooves of the rod can be scraped on to. The thin line between tone and noise in the sounds exerted by the plates was very revealing for me, particularly because of the immediate association to sound clipping (wavefrom distortion) and other crackling sounds present in electronic music. Eventually the piece can also be played on different sorts of thin disposable plastic packaging. The low-budget instrumentation is a meaningful aspect in the piece, not to mention the gratefullness percussionists have for such a lightweight setup.