RYTIS MAZULIS: Musica Falsa

  • Name
    Rytis Mazulis
  • Music

    In the medieval theory “musica falsa” stood for deviation from conventional mode through introduction of chromatic sounds. In my work I often ´deviate´ the twelve-tone system, using smaller divisions of a semitone or an octave. On the other hand, this term goes well with almost all pieces, recorded on this CD, which represent new versions for flute(s) of earlier pieces, performed by Manuel Zurria. The phenomenon of “false” music here reflects both my compositional ideas, such as microtone scales and artificial tuning systems, as well as the performance of Manuel, inventing new “weird” arrangements of my music.

    This album features a new specially written piece “Belvedere”, as well as several compositions that I had created earlier, yet it is the first time the listeners will hear their flute interpretations. The piece “puja”, written in 2004 for the ”Gaida“ festival, sounds very different from the original version, which employed percussion and keys. I see Manuel‘s interpretation as a true miracle – he does impossible things, achieving perfect precision in the attacks and weaving an exceptionally live musical fabric, creating an impression of smooth, constant movement. Manuel‘s version of “Musica Falsa”, created in 2006 for a bassoon quartet, sounds especially lucid; one can clearly hear every sound and get an in-depth view of the microinterval and polyrhythmic structure, which becomes virtually transparent. For the title of the next piece “Ex una voce tres” (2002) I have chosen a Latin rule from a proportional canon by Josquin Despréz. Thus, the three parts perform the same melody (which appears as an endless row of major and minor triads) in slightly different tempi.

    “Schisma” stands as the central composition of the album. It was commissioned and realized in July 2007 at the Centre de Recherches et de Formation Musicales de Wallonie (CRFMW) in Liège with technical assistance by Jean-Marc Sullon. Basic microtonal ´melody´ is presented together with polyphonic micro-canon, that was supposed to be played by 14 virtual electronic ´instruments´. In the previous cello version, the work was realized using electronic tools, by programming the parameters of the structure. Manuel Zurria has played all of the flute parts in real time.

    Thinking of a title for my new composition that was specially written and dedicated to Manuel, I remembered the famous “Belvedere” lithography by M. C. Escher. The depicted belvedere‘s ‘impossible‘ construction, defying the laws of perspective, as well as the image‘s weird ´Jungian‘ atmosphere, with its allusions to the Middle Ages and subconscious archetypes is somehow connected to the musical structure and emotional context of my piece. “Belvedere”is commissioned by the “Jauna Muzika 2010” festival.
    Finally, the last piece on the CD “Tranquillity” was written as a 4 part vocal canon in 1992. A single note, repeated many times in ascending and descending course, creates extended ‘glissandi‘, with gradual quartertone steps. Yet another idea connected with poetic text from Vergilius (“par levibus ventis, volucrique simillima somno”) – the sound (the voice, or a flute in Manuel‘s version) appears first at the beginning of each note, but for the decay there is just a breathing of air remained...

    After listening of Manuel‘s first cut on “Schisma”, I had a feeling that this music probably comes from another planet, because the sound is absolutely unearthy, extraterrestrial. I can hardly imagine, how many hours Manuel played and recorded my music, spending nights over in the monastery in surroundings of Urbino... He did really an amazing job, and the result is just what I ever could dream about, trying to imagine perfect sounding of my music.

    Rytis Mažulis
    May 2010

  • Performers
    Manuel Zurria
  • Megadisc Ref.
    7794
  • Price in €
    19

Booklet

Some years ago I have discovered Rytis Mazulis' works and I got completely lost for hours listening to his music. It was like drowning without being in need of oxygen. Indefinable music: it has a mysterious and enigmatic quality and is connected to reality through an architectonic structure of marvellous efficacy. Utopian music projected to the future, for that reason inevitably close to the last dreamy season of a great Master of this century, Luigi Nono. The strength of this thought roots in the mathematic/statistic calculations but turns out with an embrace that leaves us breathless. Music of contradictions, therefore … and music of paradox. The shifting poly-metrics of some fractional metronomic measures relate to Karlheinz Stockhausen's radicalism, to his hyper-rational decimal tempo points for which astonished the performers as it is a rather absolute required severity. This attitude for the extreme has smoothed the way to label Mazulis a super-minimalist, since his studies focus on a super-accurate analysis of extremely minimal spaces. Then it's as if an ocean of possibilities appears, as if the potential of this microscopy tends to infinity. Two years have gone by from the moment I proposed to Rytis this crazy and ambitious project. That is, to adapt his music to my flute's sound. I must admit that I lived this experience as a sort of psycho-drama. A voyage to the abyss of perfection and to the insane detail that only in this way could spread his algid and powerful communicative strength. I had a confirmation of this while performing his pieces to the audience. People experience a yearning feeling from this music that often reveals its melancholic nature, a plaint. Next week I will meet Rytis for the first time in Vilnius. It's quite strange that it will happen only now, when the work that we're dealing from a couple of years has almost finished. Until now we have only communicated by emails. Hundreds of emails. We never listened to our voices through telephone. Who knows... probably this ritual assumes the meaning of a "social minimalism" where the junction between two persons exceeds their bodies, their being material. By the way this is extremely coherent with the music I'm talking about...
Manuel Zurria, 14th April 2010

Recording data

Manuel Zurria: Flutes

Puja 11:48
Commissioned by “Gaida” festival (Vilnius, Lithuania), 2004

Musica falsa 8:57
Commissioned by “Marių klavyrai” festival (Klaipėda, Lithuania), 2006

Ex una voce tres 6:13
Commissioned by Rikskonserter (Concerts Sweden), 2002

Schisma 28:47
Commissioned by Centre de Recherches et de Formation Musicales de Wallonie (CRFMW, Liège, Belgium), 2007

Belvedere 4:32
Commissioned by “Jauna muzika” festival (Vilnius, Lithuania), 2010

Tranquility 9:13

Total time 69:31

All music composed by Rytis Mazulis

Recorded at the MAMA Studios, Vilnius, March, 2010 Lithuania, Europe, Planet Earth.
Recording Engineers: Gediminas Zujus, Arunas Zujus
Mixing and mastering: Manuel Zurria & Arunas Zujus.