SUAL Archives | 2011

Yoav Pasovsky: Opus sectile for harp solo

Duration:     11‘40“
Type:             Recorded live at SUAL 2011
Credits:        Audio recording by JF, editing by BG

Opus sectile

Opus sectile (Latin for “cut/divided Work”) refers to a popular artistic technique in ancient Rome, where different materials are cut into pieces (crustae) and placed in walls or floors, in order to form an image or a pattern. Unlike mosaic, which consists of many small pieces of uniform size, the pieces in opus sectile are much larger and may already represent a large part of the design. The piece consists of 56 small parts that are related in different ways to each other. Although I’ve already written all the parts, the piece is not entirely “composed” yet (compōnere Latin for “put together, arrange”). While studying and rehearsing the piece, the performer must take that final step and compose the fragments together, thereby dissolving the boundaries between the composer and the performer. Using opus sectile as an analogy, one can imagine the interpreter as an archaeologist digging at a musical excavation site, trying to put many small fragments of some relic back together. Even though these fragments are only a couple of years old (they date back to March 2009), some of them are lost forever. In order to make it easier on the performer, and also so that I can retain more control over the design of the piece, I have imposed some constraints on the ways the piece should be structured. Nevertheless, the interpreter still has about two hundred million (8!⋅7!) possible combinations to choose from. Today you will be hearing one of them.

[Yoav Pasovsky]

Yoav Pasovsky

Yoav Pasovsky was born in Israel in 1980. He began playing the piano at an early age, and started composing shortly after. In the following years he produced mainly electronic music. Since 2001 his creative focus shifted more and more towards acoustic music. Pasovsky studied composition with Daniel Ott and Walter Zimmermann in the University of the Arts Berlin, where he is currently teaching. Pasovsky’s works have been performed in numerous festivals in Europe, North America and Asia. He has worked with ensembles such as Ensemble Adapter, Ensemble U3, United Berlin, Red Light New Music, Asian Art Ensemble, Quartet New Generation, Ensemble Zafraan, and the Ensemble Modern Academy. Pasovsky was composer in residence of the Spanish ensemble Taller Sonoro in 2008. Recipient of the Elsa-Neumann-Stipend 2011, Pasovsky’s music will be featured at the upcoming Ultraschall Festival Berlin, Munich Biennale 2012 and at the Donaueschingen Music Festival 2012.

[info as of 12/2011]