composer, pianist, music theorist

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26.

KA: Electroacoustic Acousmatic Radio-Opera in nine scenes (2002)

electroacoustic music; computer-generated recording.

Music and libretto by Marcus Bittencourt,
based on a story by Vielimir Khlebnikov (1885-1922).
Duration: 1h 46'
Channels: 2


KA is the shadow of the soul. He will be the guide to a kaleidoscopic passage spiced with the dust of Eastern Religions and Myths. KA will bring the Egyptian priests' Sun and reveal the greatness of Ekhnaten, he will bring the Scandinavian Eddas' sea, the earth and the air of a mythological Japan, and the Islam's false prophet. He will bring Christianity's reasoning of Good and Evil, he will reveal ancient China, Pericles's Greece, Addia-Saka's Scythians, the Love of the everyday Man. The centuries are indeed his rocking chair. KA proposes a hallucinatory spiraling descent through the Ages: Time and Space will become one and merge into the Universal, into Death. The whole World will be brought into play as the Orchestra to materialize Khlebnikov’s 1916 work. We shall try to conjure the miracle of Acousmatics: sounds that are normally regarded as non-musical noises will disincarnate from their daily ordinary function of Source Indexes and will be allowed to become Music. KA is a canvas of one hour and forty-six minutes of organized sound, all tempered with a fictitious orientalism generated in laboratory. Strange tuning systems, complex rhythmical methods, new orchestration techniques, all was specially reinvented and designed to evoke non-existent musical civilizations. The electroacoustic medium is used in a unique way to generate a world of deceiving realistic appearance that nonetheless bears the mark of oneiric surrealism. The sounds used are mostly real sounds, recorded in real life, real spoken voices, real people singing, concrete sounds of all sorts and a huge assortment of musical instruments. All was blended, transformed, multiplied, agglomerated, beaten into shapes, all the way from the smallest sound particles up to the actual stretched painted canvas itself by unique computer algorithms specially designed for this project by the composer himself. No live performers are involved in the performance of this work which consists solely on the reproduction of previously recorded sounds. KA is a digital work in stereo. In its concert version, the two audio channels of the work are to be diffused live and spatialized through a realtime digital surround system of eight channels.
The world premiere of KA in its concert version happened on May 19 2002 at Columbia University in New York City. Its first radio broadcast was delivered by WHPK 88.5 FM, Chicago, USA, in December 18th, 2002. The opera was also aired by Rádio USP FM 93.7 MHz, São Paulo, Brazil, during the Paisagem show, divided in two parts in 03/06 and 04/03, 2005.



complete scorecomplete libretto



Recordings:


TECHNICAL INFORMATION
Lengthapproximately 1 hour and 46 minutes
Number of ChannelsStereo. Its concert version is to be diffused live through a realtime processing digital surround system of 8 speakers
Music, performance, sound engineering, computer programming, production and directionMarcus Alessi Bittencourt. Created at the Zoológico studio, New York, USA
LibrettoMarcus Alessi Bittencourt, based on the homonymous short story by the Russian poet Vielimir Khlebnikov (1885-1922).
© 2002 by Marcus Alessi Bittencourt.
All Rights Reserved.


CHARACTER VOICES
The Poet
Christopher Bailey

AM Narrator
Ramin Arjomand

Ka
Marcus Bittencourt

The Scientist from the year 2222
Steven Kane

Gramophone voice
Vielimir Khlebnikov

Amenofis
Rodney Holman

A Painter
Ramin Arjomand

Mohammed
Alexandre Tannous
Beach Girls
Miriam Weiss
Amanda Wolf

Grotesque choir, Fishermen's choir, Niam-Niams
Marcus Bittencourt

A Muslim
Alexandre Tannous

A Fisherman
Ramin Arjomand

Laili
Lilian Pelaez

Citizen's Choir
Christopher Bailey
Marcus Bittencourt
Lilian Pelaez
Stammering voices
Hiroya Miura

A Stranger
Marcus Bittencourt

Old Ape
Christopher Buchenholz

White One
Lilian Pelaez

Ekhnaten, Black Ape
Rodney Holman

A Merchant, his Assistant, his Parrot
Marcus Bittencourt

Woman with the jar
Lilian Pelaez
Spoken choirs
Steven Kane
Ramin Arjomand
Marcus Bittencourt
Fernando Gomez-Evelson
Alexandre Tannous

The Egyptian Priests
Fernando Gomez-Evelson
Ramin Amir Arjomand
Marcus Alessi Bittencourt
Alexandre Tannous
Steven Kane

other singing voices
Amanda Wolf
Mary Catherine Ford
Rodney Holman
Marcus Bittencourt
SPECIAL THANKS
The Bogliasco Foundation
The Computer Music Center of Columbia University
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© Copyright 2019 by Marcus Alessi Bittencourt. All rights reserved.
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