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4 compositions from violist/composers Catherine Lamb & Johnny Chang, the 1st focusing on the mysterious compositions of Vedic-era composer Viola Torros, exploring monady, melody and harmony; the second, one composition each from Chang performed with the Suidobashi Chamber Ensemble, and from Lamb using the secondary rainbow synthesizer she developed with Bryan Eubanks.
The summer I arrived in Berlin, I began meeting with Johnny around music-related things and he started mentioning a composer he was learning about (or around?), named Viola Torros. I didn’t quite understand who she was until we started to talk about her and the music she must have been making, and what her life could have been like. We started to look for her fragments and place them together, discussing what they could be indicating. It soon became clear that we weren’t entirely certain of her origin, or even of her exact period of existence, or where she might have been, or what she would have been influenced by. I think we both started to realise that there were a lot of unknowns about her. We knew she existed, this wasn’t the question for us, but how all of these fragments we were finding made logic together became our work, and pointed to certain ideas we both have found important. Since then I think we’ve been questioning a lot of elemental aspects of classical music, in our search to find the nodal points of her musical explorations. Obviously we approach the research with our own filters or understandings but I believe we’ve been finding little openings into some other perceptions that could have been hers. Part of the work is that it’s important to imagine a different reality in the process.
When we first began to sound the fragments, we were looking at her various melodic materials and seeing how they seemed to always coexist with other elements that seemed contrary to those materials. So I remember we were sounding a tone together at the beginning, trying to find where the articulations of that tone suggested a melody. Catherine Lamb