below our ears (2020)

8’; fl, cl, perc, pno, vln, vla, vc.

below our ears revolves around sound that exists below the range of human frequency percep- tion. The frequency of sound is the number of wave cycles that pass per second, and when a tone is lowered below what humans can hear (somewhere below ~20 cycles per second), it is simply perceived as a rhythm. What we hear instead are the overtones of this low tone happening at the rhythm of the frequency rate. below our ears aims to highlight and ponder on this physical phenomenon. The piece essentially starts with a frequency close to 0, which slowly rises to 6.875 Hz (an A 6 octaves lower than A=440!). This corresponds to a rhythm of 11 notes per two beats at a tempo of 75 beats per minute. Once this rhythm is established, the overtones of this low A expand, and a meditative ebb and flow of overtone chords surrounds the listener.

Written for the International Workshop for Young Composers, 2020.
Premiere: July 11, 2020 by Divertimento Ensemble at Fabbrica del Vapore (Milan, Italy).