Cacio No. 5

(2015) electroacoustic music [10’ 09”]

Premiered at Fifth International Csound Conference, Teatro Municipale di Cagli, September 28th 2019

This composition comes from working materials for a larger work, Il suono bianco (The White Sound), a videomusical project commissioned by Caseificio Di Nucci 1662 (a cheese factory in Agnone, Italy). For a whole week, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., I have recorded all the sounds in the factory (mainly for the production of caciocavallo): the milk spilling, the all hand-made transformation processes in wooden and steel vats, the conservation and aging stages.

In Cacio No5 the first half is devoted to the “liquid” part of the process, while in the second part we can hear the sounds of rubbing and beating the caciocavallo form in the cellar, as well as tasting of the cheese (recorded with a mouth microphone). The two main techniques I have used are granulation and convolution, mainly with the idea to render acoustically the aptic dimension of the cheese making.

Cacio No5 exists in stereo and 8 tracks version. The 8 tracks version has been created for the International Electroacoustic Composition Competition IANNIS XENAKIS 2016. After mixing the 2 tracks of the stereo version in a mono file, I split the whole spectrum in 24 bands (20 Hz to 24 KHz). I then arranged them in 8 files with 3 bands each (from low, middle and high register). To realize their spatialization I took 11 rotations from the transformations of a cube used by Xenakis for his Nomos Alpha (in Formalized Music, Pendragon Revised Edition, 1990, p. 219-236).  The 8 corners of the cube became the 8 loudspeakers and each of the files will move according the Xenakis’rotations, joining and dragging the spectrum of the corresponding loudspeaker. So for the first rotation (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8) we will hear at the beginning of the piece band1 (b1) on loudspeaker1 (L1), b2 on L2, etc. Soon b1 will move to L2, dragging b2 to L3, dragging b2 and b3 to L4, until, after a certain time determined by speed of movement, all the 8 bands will join in L8 covering the original whole spectrum. The 11 speeds (from 0.684 m/s to 8 m/s) are generated by a Gaussian distribution.

Performance notes

The loudspeakers set-up for Cacio n. 5 is represented by the Xenakis figure in Formalized Music:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 represent the channel-loudspeaker pairs. The cube side is 8 m. L6 L3 L5 L4 at the audience floor, L1 L8 L2 L7 above the audience.

A one floor arrangement, according the following picture, could fit: