RESONARE FIBRIS was premiered on November 7, 2020 in the context of the XXVIII Jornadas de Música Contemporánea de Segovia/CNDM, by the renowned pianist Mario Prisuelos. It is worth highlighting the merit of the interpreter to perfectly master the great demand of this composition, which requires a very agile technique capable of playing fast figurations and, maintaining a high concentration, to listen to the electronics and balance the sound masses. In reference to this, Blardony comments: “the idea is that the electronics emanate –in some way- from the piano, from the instrument that is perceived on stage. Thus, 4 loudspeakers are placed around it and, certainly, planes are produced that extend the instrument”. Prisuelos would thus interpret a kind of “meta-instrument” that derives the sound of the piano towards the choral sound heard in the electronics, and in turn, this invisible, vocal, religious and ethereal sound, would refer us to an “ancestor” of the piano such as the organ. It seems no coincidence that the ecclesiastical organ has been the instrument that has accompanied choirs for centuries, sometimes both, with an elaborate spatialization of sound. We can extrapolate this to Sergio’s work, which fuses piano, electronics (distortions, delays, reverberations, new timbres, etc.) and choral polyphony into a whole. Blardony’s “meta-piano” could well be a kind of “contemporary organ”. In this context, one could compare RESONARE FIBRIS with the various cycles Bach wrote for the organ (his instrument par excellence). In an effort to create formal parallels and sources that may have inspired (albeit indirectly) Sergio’s composition, let us refer to sets of pieces, cycles (some not excessively unitary) or long works for piano (and without electronics). For example, the studies of Debussy, Scriabin or Ligeti, the various cycles of Messiaen, Bartók’s Mikrokosmos, Crumb’s Makrokosmos, the Sonatas of Boulez or Ustvólskaya, Stockhausen’s Klavierstücke, Feldman’s Triadic Memories, Kurtág’s Játékok, Posadas’ Erinnerungsspuren, etc.
The title RESONARE FIBRIS could be literally translated as Fibres of resonance or Fibres of echo, but Blardony has told us that it could be interpreted as “exalt to the top of one’s lungs” in the context of the Hymn to St. John the Baptist, which gives its name to the notes (solmisation) and which has as its second verse Resonare fibris (naming the note D). In this same place, the verse could also be interpreted as “resonant strings”, alluding in Blardony’s work to the piano. If we dwell on this plurality of meanings, it is because RESONARE FIBRIS functions in this way, as a great metaphor that interconnects diverse times (the Renaissance with the present), artistic disciplines (music and poetry) and heterogeneous sonorities (the acoustic of the piano and the electronic of the loudspeaker). This same hybridization can also be detected in the piano writing, as the composer explained: “There is a dialectic between the free and the metrical structure. The pieces that directly allude to Renaissance works are written without meter, while those entitled Resonare fibris I, II, etc., have a very exact measure”. Another contrast would be that in contrast to the piano’s use of arpeggios, lively ornaments or arabesques, we find statism and austerity in polyphony. But the piano also takes us back to the vocal, because it is like a long, continuous line, with hardly any counterpoint or chordal accompaniment. It almost works in the style of Wagnerian infinite melody. In relation to this, it must be taken into account that it was during Romanticism that the great recovery of Renaissance music, forgotten during the later Baroque and Classicism, began. For example, Wagner was responsible for the popularity (which still continues) of Palestrina’s Stabat mater, the canonical work of Renaissance polyphony.