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Walter Branchi

Most people hear but don’t listen, look but don’t see

In proposing my music I have become aware of how most people are prisoners of standard perceptive schemes and how
difficult it is for them to go beyond those schemes.

Even when they understand the spirit of music that transcends traditional forms of perception, they cannot rid themselves of
the idea of “concert”. How then get them to understand that there are different ways of making music and of listening.

What I propose is quite elementary: learn to marvel at what is simply normal.

My music is meant to merge with the sounds of the surrounding environment. It is not meant for a concert hall or closed
spaces where the interfering sounds of the environment are kept at bay.

An old maestro once told me that by putting a frame around anything whatsoever, one would see things one normally couldn’t
see, things generally perceived only vaguely as part of the landscape or setting. That’s what I want my music to be - a frame
set in a soundscape that lets us listen, and maybe more than listen, to what is happening in a given time and space. A music
that does not isolate, does not dominate or impose itself, but simply becomes part of the life of that place: giving as much as
receiving.

By place I mean an ensemble of sounds, noises, colors, odors, persons, feelings. The music is there, not to be listened to as
something apart (if such a thing were possible), but because through it, in relation to it, one can perceive the complexity of the
context.

www.walter-branchi.com | info@walter-branchi.com 17 dicembre 2008 | 1

based principally on quantity rather than quality. While we were doing a trial run..The relationship between the music and that specific soundscape did however rather worry me. blankets. 2005 Dear Corrado.. The power of the moment was heightened because.... the spectacular.com | info@walter-branchi. www.. state-of-the-art. Although obviously the complexity of the countryside or nature would be preferable. The expression on his face as he listened was one of enchantment: the music and the entire landscape (not only the noises) were merging and complementing each other perfectly. I felt a bit less nervous.The performance was planned for seven in the late afternoon so it would accompany the sunset. stopped by to say hello (he was on his way to a birthday party). the relentless pursuit of “never enough” and “the more the better”. The sound reproduction equipment.... on the crowd. is the account of a performance in a garden in Orvieto on June 4. As did the threat of rain.. Here. di terra” for synthesized sounds alone. even in the midst of the drone of city traffic. a part of my never-ending composition “Intero”1 The atmosphere became magic: the electronic sounds brought out the environmental sounds and they counterpointed each other in amazing unexpected ways. a friend of mine. Fantastic. had been strategically placed: the sound could be clearly heard. benches in various parts of the lawn: all facing the sun (which stayed hidden). and you couldn’t tell where it came from.. chairs of all types..Many came. I had put out rugs. learning to listen to the marvelous richness – and often beauty – of what already exists in a place could be the greatest discovery of our times. At six the first guests began to arrive. for example..com 17 dicembre 2008 | 2 . for dark clouds had been gathering all day long. pillows. some unexpected because they were friends of friends. . My music can be played anywhere. John Heineman. We played “Ora.walter-branchi.In the world of today..They all found a place to sit and at ten after seven I began my brief introduction.

had been part of it.“Un grande canto” where every part includes the whole and is included by it. a plane or two in the sky and the sudden appearance of the sun made the event even more intense. the swallows.com 17 dicembre 2008 | 3 . the chirping crickets. One could tell from their expressions that they had all participated in the complexity of the event. Every such part can be performed singly. In the introduction I had said: “Music for listening and not only to be listened to” and it worked perfectly because through the music the people listened to the place and vice versa. No applause. the tractors returning home.com | info@walter-branchi. in sequence or in counterpart with the other parts of the whole. www. A big hug Walter Translated from the Italian by Erika Bizzarri 1 “Intero” is the title of an ongoing composition which will take my entire life to compose and which will never be completed.walter-branchi. just wonderment at what was simply normal. it being nearly sunset. The music stopped yet they all continued to listen for a long time.

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