Composer Ramon Humer's Quartet "I Fa L'aire Visible"
Quartet Gerhard premiered the composer's newly composed, second string quartet in Spain
Ramon recently talked with The Violin Channel about his new piece.
"The line of the poem that gives name to this work ‘I fa l’aire visible’ (And It Turns the Air Visible) manifests a captivating natural phenomenon. In a quiet full moon night, especially intense light can brighten the space, so much so that the air becomes palpable, dense, and visible as if it possessed a corporeal form. The air is gifted with two opposite attributes: on the one hand, the darkness and silence that the night brings, and on the other, a visible form in the light.
"This double condition of the air led me to research the natural harmonical intervals to achieve a sonority that is bright and dark at the same time. The high-precision tuning according to the harmonic series provides a pristine sonority that makes visible what is invisible. That's why this work is performed in the dark, like a nocturne; to make the intangible just intonation turn visible.
"This opportunity has arisen from conversations with the Gerhard Quartet about an idea that haunted me: writing a work with microtonal scordatura which requires a special tuning. For the creation of this work, I have enjoyed the valuable support and enthusiasm of the Quartet Gerhard, with whom I have periodically met to test passages, scordatura, and especially difficult microtonal tuning that asks for surgical precision and an extremely sharp hearing. The result of this collaboration has resulted in a piece of music that explores lands of meticulous detail, with a delicate and complex expression. I wouldn't have been able to write this music without the enthusiasm and the smiles of the four members of the Quartet Gerhard, whom I thank from the bottom of my heart for their lively effort, their proximity, and the love towards the creative process of this work.
"It has been a long and quiet process, without haste, looking for the best way to turn it into musical silence, into music that springs from the soul. That's why I worked without a deadline, so if I had infinite time to write the work. The final product comes after two years of composition, rehearsals with the performers, research, experimentation with intonation, and a lot of fun!
"I hope that listeners can find a new sound, far from the temperate system, with microtones that generate a sometimes crystalline harmony, sometimes so tenuous that it blurs with the hearing threshold. I hope they hear a sound universe that seeks to evoke something that seems impossible: turning air into visible force."
RAMON HUMET | QUARTET GERHARD | "I FA L'AIRE VISIBLE" | 2021