Henry Vega - Stream Machines
Henry Vega has concerns about a computing age that gave way to empathy for machines and the desire for personal relationships with devices. The laptop as best friend and the smart phone as companion and sometimes even as trainer. In a piece commissioned by Gaudeamus Foundation and Netherlands Fund for Performed Arts, Vega explores the microminimal characters of rhythm and harmony, working with the most simple musical materials. The piece was premiered by the Ragazze String Quartet in 2013.
“I quickly realized I would have to deal with solving the problem of sounding mechanical and emotionless; rhythmically I was making music with pulses and soon found that I could create motion and dynamics by shifting or layering the pulses to create a type of tension/release through the density of sound. I interweaved the quartet into the layers of glitchlike sounds by tap-delaying the acoustic instruments and using their same gestures. Harmonically the piece uses as little notes as possible arranging them throughout the spectrum. Making tension through small intervals in hi registers and continuing to find the most reduced forms of musical feeling.”(Vega)