an unrhymed chord / Michael Pisaro

an unrhymed chord

Michael Pisaro



The piece an unrhymed chord by Michael Pisaro, a score obtained thanks to the generous support of the musical collective and publishing house Wandelweiser, basically consists of two movements of 30 minutes separated by a silence of 5: the performer must choose a single sound and play it one time in each movement, its duration must be between 1 and 15 minutes, and its intensity works in reverse, i.e if it lasts 1 minute it will be a mezzopiano, if it lasts 15 it will be an almost inaudible ppppp. The score doesn’t specify a set number of performers, so we began contacting participants in order to perform this piece. The enthusiasm from the talents we contacted resulted in a total of fifteen performers who contributed with a varied instrumentation, which included a tuba, cello, clarinet, laptop, portable radios and a photosensitive oscillator, among others.

“Okay… but what kind of music is it?” asks the manager of the Santo Domingo Church to Nicolás Carrasco, who was seeking authorization to perform this piece at this place. Nicolás tries to explain that this music, which sometimes is not even recognized as such, when being executed might be almost imperceptible, indistinguishable from the everyday silence of the place, and taking a poetic license, defined it as a colored silence. And so it was, because the silent worshipers, lost tourists, friendly passengers, respectful passers-by and restless children who were in the Church of Santo Domingo that hot afternoon, witnessed, some unknowingly, the subtle colors which painted for sixty minutes the impressive deep peace and introspection of a place full of reverb and a majestic spiritual mysticism.
Álvaro Ortega Hamel


the players
Diego Aguirre, Santiago Astaburuaga, Edén Carrasco, Nicolás Carrasco, 
Christian Delón, Raúl Díaz, Isidora Edwards, Renzo Filinich,
Fernando Godoy, Sebastián Jatz Rawicz, Marcelo Maira, Matías Mardones, 
Juan Ignacio Morales, Alvaro Ortega and Benjamín Vergara.

the instruments
guitar, double bass, clarinet in Bb, electromechanic violin, bugle,
electromechanic object, cello, laptop, photosensitive oscillator, 
cup & ball game, bass flute, cymbal, feedbacked eolic harp, 
radio and bombardino tuba.

Santo Domingo church, Santiago, Chile

28th of January 2011

from 17:00 to 18:05

65 minutes

the audience
parishioners, occasional passers-by, relatives and friends.

portraits by
Ronald Patrick


audio – recorded on 3 Zoom H4n along the church’s nave; edited by NCD