Paulo C. Chagas

Corpo, Carne e Espírito [ Body, Flesh and Spirit ] (2008)

a digital oratorio
Paulo C. Chagas, composition
Johannes Birringer, visual composition

Documentation of the first performance: 5'43"
9 th FIT (International Theater Festival), Theater Klaus Vianna Oi Futuro, Belo Horizonte , Brazil
June 27/28/29, 2008

Paulo C. Chagas, musical director and conductor
Johannes Birringer, interactive digital images
Mônica Pedrosa, soprano
Sérgio Anders, countertenor
Eladio pérez-Gonzáles, baritone
Frank Hammer, violin 1
Eri Lou Nogueira, violin 2
Cleusa Sana, viola
Pedro Bielschowsky, violoncello
Sérgio Aluotto, percussion

Duration of the entire work: 75'

The digital oratorio Corpo, Carne e Espírito [ Body, Flesh and Spirit ] - commissioned by the 9 th FIT, International Theater Festival of Belo Horizonte, Brazil - is an audiovisual music-theater production integrating live music performance and interactive projection of digital images. It investigates the invisible forces of the human body in the contexts of artistic creation, interactive technology, as well as virtual and immersive environments.

The work is based on Francis Bacon , music by Paulo C. Chagas inspired by the paintings and life of Francis Bacon (1909-1992). The composition for three voices (soprano, counter-tenor, baritone), string quartet, percussion and electronic sounds is integrated in the visual and performance environment designed by the German media artist Johannes Birringer. The digital images performed live by Birringer are projected onto a curved triptych of screens upstage behind the musicians. Chagas conducts the ensemble of musicians and singers.

More information about Corpo, Carne e Espírito Body, Flesh and Spirit:

Cine Città (2009)

audiovisual installation

Paulo C. Chagas, music composition
Lynn Lukkas, visual composition:

Alexandria : 0'48"
Istanbul : 0'52"

First performance:

Katherine E. Nash Galley, University of Minnesota , Minneapolis , USA
February 25 - March 22, 2009

Cine Città is a multi channel audiovisual installation that explores the cinematic quality of urban environments. Culled from hours of footage Lynn Lukkas shot in cities around the world over the past 15 years, the images are then edited to fragments of musical compositions by Paulo Chagas. Rather than the traditional conception of cities as built environments, bricks & mortar, Cine Città conceptualizes the urban environment as an ephemeral and mercurial surface in constant flux.

Pulsing Knots (2009)

12 etudes for electronic music
Paulo C. Chagas

Etude 01 4'24"
Etude 03 4'48"

The composition of Pulsing Knots - a series of 12 etudes for electronic music -is based on the cybernetic principle of feedback loop . It explores some techniques of the analogue electronic music produced on the 1950's at the Electronic Music Studio of WDR Radio of Cologne, Germany. Composers such as Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928-2007) developed the technique of sound synthesis based on electronic impulses, which are very short sounds with a high energetic spectrum. A single impulse or a sequence of impulses was recorded on tape and played as a loop through many tape recorders. This system generates a chain of delays and feedback that transforms the original material in such a way, that it was possible to create pitched and colorful sound of different kinds. Stockhausen used this technique in Kontakte (1959/60), which is a milestone in the history of electronic music.

Digital technology open new possibilities for developing and extending the feedback loop technique. The music of Pulsing Knots is generated by a Max/MSP patch based on a single impulse that feeds a delay and feedback circuit. The etudes develop a time-polyphony both at the micro and macro levels by exploring also the perception of different simultaneous times. The feedback loop constantly renews the sound by incorporating the "perturbations" generated through the delay and feedback system. It results on a self-organizing, autopoietic process that gives the sound a living, organic quality.

Duration of the whole work (12 etudes): 51'23"

Orbital Studies (2008)

5 etudes for piano and live-electronics
Paulo C. Chagas

Eshu 10'35"
Sibelius 13'13"

Live recording of the first performance:
Festival Música Nova, SESC Vila Mariana, São Paulo, Brazil
September 14, 2008 .

Caio Pagano, piano
Nathan Wolek, live-electronics
Paulo C. Chagas, sound projection

Orbital Studies (2008) is a series of 5 etudes for piano and live-electronics composed for and in collaboration with Brazilian virtuoso pianist Caio Pagano. The studies can be also performed as pieces for piano solo.

The composition for piano develops a post-romantic style that articulates a structure of gestures , which are expressed through musical elements such as motives, phrases, rhythms, harmonies, dynamics, timing, timbers, etc.

Gesture activity is also the fundamental of the live-electronic music that develops a circular sound space . The piano sound is processed through a Max/MSP patch that constantly generates 8-channel rotations surrounding the audience. The rotations vary according to certain characteristics of the sound of the piano; for example the speed of the rotation accelerates when the sound gets louder and slows down when the sound gets softer. The correlation between gesture and rotation creates a organic relationship between acoustic and electroacoustic sound.

Eshu features a song of the Afro-Brazilian religion of candomblé. The song is played on the beginning of the piece and undergoes a continuous process of harmonic variations until the end. The rhythm of candomblé shapes the transformations of the music.

Sibelius unfolds a spiral structure beginning with cyclic motives that progressively expand into a eruption of large romantic gestures. They are punctuated and disrupted by excerpts of Sibelius 4 th Symphony that gradually become integrated into the music.

Jason Heath

ElectroSculpt (2007)

electronics and video 2'22"

ElectroSculpt utilizes sounds created with a physical modeling synthesizer that simulates the acoustic properties of various physical materials. The sounds provide the core structure for the video which was created and edited to elaborate a visual expression of the sound itself.

Tikal (2008)

electroacoustics, guitar, and viola 3'35"

Tikal is an electroacoustic collage with ambient sound objects, electronics, prepared guitar, and viola. It is an homage to my time in Central America . It conjures indigenous sounds of the rainforest, modern machines, and men with guns, in the major Mayan archeological site Tikal , in northern Guatemala.

Jason Heath, prepared guitar, electronics
Alma Fernandez, viola