Latin American Electroacoustic Music Collection

Jorge Antunes, Canto do Pedreiro, 1968

Recording time: 4 min 10 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. The motivation had been determined by the satisfactory results that the composer, in his opinion, had achieved with the worl Canto Selvagem, in 1967. The idea to compose a series of "Cantos" was suggested. After Canto do Pedreiro would come Canto do Ferreiro, which remained only in projection, in the from of graphic annotations.
The work Canto do Pedreiro was composed as a commission by Professor Dulce Leal de Souza, in order to illustrate her lecture Music and Poetry. The public speaker was studying the use of poetry in erudite contemporary music and was interested in studying a recent work, within the new electroacoustic movement (called at the time, electronic music).
Thus, also a poet, Antunes released his poem entitlled Canto do Pedreiro:

Pedra - penedo / pedra - pedreiro / quebra rochedo / bate ligeiro / pedreiro pedrento / com biofobia /da vida / do filho / da pedotrofia. / filho - fome / fome - filho / pedreiro que vive / espera ser livre.

The theremin that Antunes built in 1967 is one of the sound sources used in the work. Besides using this instrument, Antunes' repertoire included his old generators, closed-loop tapes, glissandos with reverberation and echo effects produced by feedback in the recording heads of the Revox.
The poem was divided, shredded. Then the electronic sounds conversed with the disintegration and kaleidoscopic use of the syllables: pé, dô, bra, a rô, drape, dreiro, che.... At the end the spoken texts were reversed, by inverting the tape in the recorder. The work would terminate with a type of Stretto that dramatically accumulated the colossal sound material in the finale.