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Voci (author's note)

Voci
for viola and two instrumental groups (1984)

The act of transcription – like, sometimes, that of translation - may imply three different conditions: the identification of the composer with the original musical text, the assimilation of the text as a pretext for experimentation and, finally, the overpowering of the text, its deconstruction and its philological abuse. I believe that an ideal situation occurs when the three conditions come to blend and coexist freely and with full awareness. Only then transcription becomes a truly creative, constructive act.
Voci, written in 1984 for Aldo Bennici, deals precisely with the problem of converging those three conditions. I am extremely grateful to Aldo Bennici for providing me with the original musical material: songs of work and love, lullabies, abbagnate (cries of street vendors) from different parts of Sicily. These songs are often presented in their entirety and placed in ever-changing harmonic and instrumental “landscapes”; at other times they undergo a fragmentation process, and the various segments are then combined to generate new “songs”, as it happens at the opening of the work, played by the solo viola.
With Voci I hope to contribute to an increased awareness of Sicilian musical folklore, which, along with that of Sardinia, is certainly the richest, most complex and incandescent of our Mediterranean culture.

Luciano Berio