Cactus Geometries (2002)

electroacoustic sounds  - 6 channels

Most people are familiar with the rigid forms of Euclidean geometry - squares, circles, spheres, triangles, or parallelepipeds. However, the study of geometry takes different mathematical orientations, reaching to reach higher dimensions that obey rules less known. Topology, for example, is interested in the continuous characteristics of objects and space, whose features such as texture or connectivity remain unchanged after the object has been stretched or twisted, even when other transformations are imposed (rotations, translations, reflections and iterations) to a geometric space. It is possible to find natural examples of these astonishing mathematical processes in the geometric characteristics of the cacti and, for that reason, these organisms are subjects of interest for the topological investigation.



In Cactus Geometries, I tried to establish analogies between the forms of my favorite cacti and various musical processes. But instead of pretending to parody its specific aspects, I decided to take each cactus as a compositional metaphor and invent imaginary "topologies". So, during the composition, the unexpected geometry of my cacti served as a model for inventing interior spaces, fluxes, changing symmetries, landscapes, swirls and sonic trajectories. In an analogous way, I used information on the habitat and properties of five cacti to play and propose sonic-visual images of a more anecdotal nature. The piece is divided in 5 movements, cereus hexagonus, lophophora williamsii, parodia penicillata, agave fourcroydes Lemaire and dorcoba aureispina.  

Cactus Geometries was commissioned by the Ministere de Culture de France and the Groupe de Recherches Musicales (GRM) in 2002.


multi-channel performance materials available on request