The attempt to explain in words the gestation and consequent realization of a musical idea necessarily brings me to dig deep into my convictions, into the teachings and notions I accumulated in the decades of study and practice, until one reaches what is, for me, the only, true motivation unchaining the artistic action: the need for transcendence.
Following an idea on the thread of imagination for weeks, months or years; determining its contours with increasing precision; and, eventually, condensing it in an ensemble of (more or less) conventional gestures: this is all, ladies and gentlemen, this is really all that happens, and which is observable by the exterior eye. Inside, instead… How to find words for describing those introspective visions (how long will they last? For instants? Hours? Days?), like those of him who observes from the edge of the abyss? And how to define those infinite pauses, bent on listening to the music of thoughts that, at times slow, at times whirling, petrifies my body while the spirit darts, incandescent? And what labour it is to go back and trace those signs…
A need for transcendence, as I was saying. In my job this becomes the attempt to realise in a very subtle matter (the aural one, in fact) the fruit of an imaginative world that, since the depths of time, is a pure instrument of realisation. It is the need moving since ever the entire humankind pushing it to ascend towards the highest summits of spirit, and to resound with the entire universe… Presumption? Egocentrism? Mysticism? Megalomania? Folly? Who can say… Posterity will pronounce the arduous sentence [as Manzoni used to say]. What remains for me is only a map, a musical text constituting a real manual of “how-to-do” for my imagination. It will be used by future executors of a testament, if they have good will; with some study and patience, they will give it back some material life in our beloved space-time, and so on, and so on…
The composition of Six Moves (1994-5, of which we will hear the first four) took off from the need to free the imaginative-musical potential without apparent bounds of language. A pure improvisational spirit draws from formal “cerebrality” (ABA for the First, Second and Fourth Moves, a Theme with variations for the Third Move) and organizational (dodecaphonic for the Third Move). This is done by short sips, lightly and vaguely irreverently moving with respect to the chosen medium. A Mediterranean style cantabile derives from it; at times it is hallucinated. Through it, both the flute and the oboe are always at ease, except a few nervous rhythmic and intervallic inquietudes.
Born as contrapuntal studies, the Duets for flute and oboe (1993) reveal a chromatic feeling (which will later shape the Six Moves) of a neoclassical type, expressed through a clear ABA formal design. Composed as a homage to two dear friends, who recorded it in studio, this short diptych clearly expresses the ludus tonalis whence it blossomed. It is a joking play of rebounds and of touching homorhythmic passages, of dynamic contrasts and of short accompanied monodies proposed with a smile on the lips.
Written in 1996 for flute, clarinet and bassoon, the Five Sketches (presented here for flute, B-flat clarinet, and bass clarinet) introduce rock and pop elements into the sound patterns. These, structurally opposed to a singing style reminiscent of the Neapolitan school, savagely erupt into the concluding micro-blues, saturating its atmosphere with piercing cries and acid and repetitive sounds.
A minimal play shapes the series of five Games, composed in 1997 (Game I), 2000 (Game II) and 2001 (Games III – IV – V), together with the use of rock rhythmic gestures, surfacing at times. Once the melody has been put on one side, the musical writing is simplified and becomes almost rough, as in the case of the kaleidoscopic punk tones of Game I. The formal construction happens through the self-reproduction of basic intervallic cells, whence elementary counterpoints in two and three parts develop. Almost always they are metrically contrasting (as in the episodic Game II). The rhythmic aspect takes the lead in Game III, where a hallucinated “drum’n’bass” piano devores the optional dodecaphonic effusions of clarinet, trombone and cello. Contrariwise, Game IV begins and develops as a hypothetic promenade in space. Here the slowness of the chordal expansion – at first arhythmic and disconnected – becomes increasingly definite and pulsating as the rock metre appears, triumphing in minimalism in the finale. Game V closes the series: this composition is inspired by Latin-American music and by electronic sequencers, and it is pulsating and nervous both in form and in phrasing.
Luigi Mogrovejo © 2021
Translation: Chiara Bertoglio
Luigi Mogrovejo Italian composer and teacher born in 1969. He trained at the 'S. Pietro a Majella' Conservatory in Naples and, at the same time, he followed his passion for rock and pop music by working as an arranger and sound engineer.