The Politics of Resonance


GIB SIE WIEDER is a series of two political compositions, dedicated to exceptional performers and their respective instruments, the viola d’amore and the harp. In this project I center on the topic of resonance. Starting from acoustic resonance, I take a shift and look into the notion of social resonance. Finding the term closely correlated to the construction of gender, I direct my inner ear to the hidden background noises of the organization of society. As a woman and composer, I perceive aural patterns of individual and political significance. I decide to deconstruct engrained structures of resonance and assumptions of gender, and personally redefine them, by means of music, into a new compositional plan. In this article, I identify my political perspective as an artist, and describe how this affects and stimulates my creative process. I discuss in detail the compositional approach taken in this project, on the basis of the two different works and their public performances in 2014.

The project began with the composition ‘a warning commentary on resonance I’, featuring the viola d’amore and performer Garth Knox. The second piece ‘a warning commentary on resonance II’ followed shortly afterwards, dedicated to the outstanding harpist Rhodri Davies.

GIB SIE WIEDER a warning commentary on resonance I

for viola d’amore (with pickup), electronics, a sounding object and contrabass recorder.
Text and installation by Pia Palme; voice (recorded): Claudia Cervenka.
First performance: Garth Knox and Pia Palme, March 14th 2014, University of Huddersfield, St. Paul’s Hall.

GIB SIE WIEDER a warning commentary on resonance II

for harp and electronics (playback via transducers on soundboard of the harp)
‘outside’ performer: Rhodri Davies
‘inside’ the harp/all recorded in Vienna: Gabriela Mossyrsch, harp; Claudia Cervenka, voice; Pia Palme, feedback sounds & noises.
Text by Pia Palme. Composed for the opening concert of the Beyond Pythagoras Symposium.
First performance: Rhodri Davies, March 21st 2014, Beyond Pythagoras Symposium, University of Huddersfield, Phipps Hall.