San Marco *PREMIERE*
Sunday, April 1, 8:00pm
Performed by Ezra Weller, trumpet and electronics
Pierce Hall at New England Conservatory
241 St. Botolph St, Boston MA.
This piece combines live trumpet with digital processing and playback of pre-recorded samples controlled by the performer. This premiere performance is being featured on a recital of electro-acoustic music by students of composer John Mallia.
My goal with San Marco is to create a fluid, ambient atmosphere evoking the sound-world and spirit of the sacred instrumental music of the late Renaissance/early Baroque, especially Monteverdi (who I sample in the piece). The famous cathedral in Venice, Basilica of St. Mark’s (Basilica Cattedrale Patriarcale di San Marco), was a center for this music and the inspiration for my title, San Marco.
The piece features truncated, looped, and processed samples of late Renaissance music for voice and cornetto, a wind instrument with a sound not unlike a trumpet (although its construction is very different). The cornetto was highly regarded in the 16th and early 17th centuries for its similarity to the human voice, and has a delicate sound I find incredibly beautiful. The modern trumpet plays along with and around the samples, alternately imitating, dominating, and being dominated by the sound of the cornetto.