Latin American Electroacoustic Music Collection

Jorge Antunes, Movimiento Browniano, 1968

Recording time: 4 min 00 s.
Instruments: Tape
Recorded at: Studio of Chromo-Musical Research, Villa-Lobos Institute. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Other resources available:
- Biography of Jorge Antunes
- Compositions by Jorge Antunes

About this composition:

The work was produced in the Antunes Chromo-Musical Research Studio in the Villa Lobos Institute, Rio de Janeiro, in 1968. As in Sideral Waltz, Antunes also uses a rhythmical obstinado pedal, constructed by micro-assembly and transformation on a closed loop tape.
But the principal intention of this work is different, because the composer was interested in producing complex polyrhythms. In this form, different cells are superimposed one upon another. Inevitably there will be, in the meantime, reference to polyrhythms containing periodicities and characteristics peculiar to the Afro-Brazilian dances of a samba school.
It is interesting to point out, that this posture would be reassumed by Antunes in the Institute Torcuato Di Tella two years later. Living outside his own country, he would compose the Auto Retrato Sobre Paiaje Porteño, using the samba rhythm with electronic sounds.
The title of the work, Brownian Movement, refers to the disordered agitation of very small particles in suspension in a liquid. This movement was discovered and studied by the Scottish botanist Robert Brown in 1827. Kinetic Theory explains the phenomenon by which the particles collide with molecules of the liquid, thus producing random and complex movement. It is the sensation of this type of movement that Antunes intends to awaken in the listener: rhythmic chaos, organised and foreseeable.
The end of the 60's were characterized, in Jorge Antunes' career, as a period of aesthetic-professional indentifcation. Simultaneously specialising in Music and in Physics, his professional future was unknown. In 1968 the Electronic Music teacher of Villa Lobos Institute had already graduated in Physics, and was completing courses in Composition, Conducting and Violin in the School of Music and lecturing in Physics in Colegio Pedro II.
The search for a common denominator led Antunes to make music inspired by some of the physical phenomena he had studied. The work (1.6 - 1.6) x 10-19 coulombs, for flute, bassoon and piano amplo dates from this same period.
"This is not music!" This was the phrase used by Marlos Nobre, on hearing the work for the first time, in June, 1968. It was in a meeting of the New Music Group of Rio de Janeiro held at the Villa Lobos Institute. As well as Marlos and Antunes, other members of the Group were present: Ayrton Barbosa, Esther Scliar, Edino Krieger, Emílio Terraza and Reginaldo Carvalho. The group had been formed on the initiative of Gianno Ratto, to become one of the groups of artists of New Theatre, inaugurated in July 1968 in Avenida Gomes Feire, in Rio de Janeiro.
Five months later, with the promulgation of AI-5, Antunes and others were dismissed from the Villa Lobos Institute and all the cultural projects were dismantled in due course.