In The World We Know I was interested in exploring musical clichés taken from diverse sources such as the classical, electroacoustic and popular traditions. Today, the most ubiquitous of musical clichés are perhaps the rhythms of rap and hip-hop that we hear everywhere, coming from television sets, cars, supermarkets, arcades, shops in general and of course clubs and private homes. For this reason I took as the central cliché of my piece a generic hip-hop rhythm track created by a drum kit and a bass. This basic rhythm becomes the centre of gravity, the point of reference from and through which ‘the world ’ is perceived, including other past and present music clichés.
In the beginning of the piece the common ‘concrete’ sounds of the world organise themselves into a hip-hop rhythm. Eventually, the hip-hop rhythm is itself modified by the sounds coming from the concrete sound world.
In the second half of the piece I could not resist the temptation to subject the different sounds and patterns of my hip-hop rhythm to a process of ‘Nancarrowisation’, deconstructing them by applying some of the ideas about simultaneous multiple tempi and irrational rhythmic patterns developed by Conlon Nancarrow. His musical ideas have greatly influenced the way I compose and think about time and rhythm.
The World We Know is the first piece where I chose to work not only with sounds that I find immediately attractive but also with sounds that I find ugly, disliking their resonance and timbre.
I sought to recreated and connect the ugly and the beautiful, the cliché and the unexpected in a different -and I hope at times humorous- context, so that their presence may no longer overwhelm but become musically interesting.
listen to an excerpt of The World We Know