Latin American Electroacoustic Music Collection

Manuel Rocha Iturbide, Semi No Koe, 2001

Recording time: 8 min 32 s.
Instruments: For flute and tape

Other resources available:
- About Manuel Rocha Iturbide
- Compositions by Manuel Rocha Iturbide

About this composition:

This work was conceived and produced in Tokyo Japan. I arrived to this country in the month of august 2000, on plain summer, a station where the cicadas sing frenetically because after years of being under earth in the form of embryo, they finally come out only two or three weeks in order to fly and sing with out stop before perrishing.

This phenomena impressed me allot, and I decided then to write a work for flute and two digital tracks where the timbers of the flute would emulate the birth of the cicadas. To structure this piece I decided to use the Haiku formula, a small Japanese poem form invented by Basho in the XVII century. These poems are constructed by 17 syllables, in the order 5, 7, 5. On the other hand, the haiku's written by Basho and by other early Japanese poet's talk constantly about sounds produced by insects and other animals, and about how they break with silence. These types of poems have a strong influence of ZEN philosophy. I discovered a poem written by Basho about Cicadas, which I liked due to its images, contrasting rhythm and structure. The pome says:

Shizuakasa ya
Iwa Ni Shimiiru
Semi No Koe

The stillness
Soaking into stones
Cicada's cry

"Semi no Koe" could be though of as a programmatic work, although the decisions regarding the different formal aspects of the piece were defined starting from the fractal proportions of the ratio 5:7:5. In this way, the work is carefully structured in a fractal way, but it also try's to emulate through the acoustic and electroacustic sounds of the flute and the cicadas, the abstract complexity of nature.