Acoustic bubbles in the telematic performance of “Ceci n’est pas une trompette”

Guilherme Ribeiro, Fabio Simão, Silvio Ferraz

São Paulo State University, Brazil


For this Meeting, we propose to report a musical experience that we had in Brazil during the pandemic of the COVID-19. Our first aim was to find a way to create and perform with the resources we had at that time of social isolation. With that, we created “Ceci n’est pas une trompette”, a piece written by the composer Guilherme Ribeiro in a collaborative process with trumpeter Fabio Simão, clarinetist Kaique Iritsu and percussionist Christopher Alex.

The creation of the piece is part of a proposal made by the Brazilian composer and professor Silvio Ferraz, during the meetings of the Contemporary Music Laboratory at the University of São Paulo. Ferraz proposed to us the reflection of instrumental/vocal music done in groups in a virtual way and in “real time”, taking into account the problems that we would face in this telematic environment, such as, for example: an acoustic instrument whose sound-musical appreciation is not the same anymore, and a tempo in which the metronome or conductor would no longer be able to make the performers breathe and attack together a chord or a sound block on the downbeat. In this sense, the process of discoveries and the resolution of problems that video-call platforms generate for musical practice signed what should be this piece: a way of making music together that dialogues with the acoustic bubbles in which we were inserted and isolated in that moment: our houses.

When looking for a way out of making music in the context of social isolation, we found in the creative process of “Ceci n’est pas une trompette” a pathway, a work methodology that enables creative musical interaction despite seemingly limiting conditions. If, on the one hand, the geographical distance and the challenges imposed by the need for accelerated learning of telematics technologies proved to be adverse conditions, this perception soon became something potentially experimental and new when we explored the situation not from the perspective of scarcity and limitations, but from the perspective of power and possibilities. Using inquiries, talk sessions, software and microphone experimentations, as well as the study and preparation of the acoustic reverberation spaces of each of the performers, we were able to find in this creative process a universe of possibilities that was not limited to purely sound issues, but that incorporated image, body and movement into our musical creation. In this way, “Ceci n’est pas une trompette”, without involving any type of interaction and physical contact between the group, caused the distance between the performer and the listener, or between the instrument and the microphone – in the musician’s walk through his house while, at the same time, playing his instrument – not only generating a dynamic gradation (as it would be if it happened in a concert hall), but also generating an acoustic exploration of the musical instrument reverberating through the rooms of the house.

Keywords: Collaborative Creation, Telematic Performance, Music Acoustics Experimentation


Guilherme Ribeiro, 1994, is a Brazilian composer and a master student at the University of São Paulo. His compositions have been presented in places such as Sala Cecília Meireles, Theatro São Pedro, CCSP, USP, Unesp, and have won awards such as: USP “Programa Nascente”, “III Festival Música Estranha”, “XXVIII Panorama da Música Brasileira Atual” of UFRJ, “XXII Bienal de Música Brasileira Contemporânea” of FUNARTE and “Atemporánea Festival” in Argentina. Since 2016, Guilherme has been a FAPESP fellow and, under the guidance of Silvio Ferraz, develops his research about extended techniques and published an article in Vórtex magazine about “Guero”, by Helmut Lachenmann, and held a research exchange at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Portugal), where had a presentation at the III International Symposium CESEM and was mentored by the composer and teacher Isabel Pires. Currently, his master’s research investigates the cultural hybridization in contemporary music based on extended instrumental techniques.

Fabio Simão in principal Trumpet at the Theatro São Pedro Symphony Orchestra (São Paulo, Brazil) since 2010, Guest Principal Trumpet at Babylon Kino Orchestra (Berlin, Germany) in 2019 season. Develops artistic research in Performance at Universidade de São Paulo’s Masters program. Among recent projects are (all premiere): About Mixtur: S. Kafejian (2019), STOP: K.Stockhausen (2019 – brazilian premiere), Vento Escasso: T.Gati (2019), Santiago: G.Ribeiro (2019), Blocks: A. Lunsqui (2018), Palavra Trovão: R. Valente (2018), Revólver Volúpia : G. Xavier (2018), Caminho através da Inquietude: Y. Sano-Mani (2017). Founder of the brass quintet ViBrasSom and Trio São Paulo (trumpet trio), develops chamber and educational activities in the city of São Paulo and the surrounding area. Teaching activities include Emesp Tom Jobim and Guri Santa Marcelina (2008 – 2012). As Guest Musician, already performed with the most important brazilian orchestras. Complementary studies in contemporary performance at International Ensemble Modern Academy Klangspurren (Austria, 2018) and trumpet Sibelius Academy Brass Festival (Finland, 2016).


Silvio Ferraz is composer, Full-Professor of musical composition at University of São Paulo (USP); Doctor in Semiotics by the Catholic University of São Paulo (PUC/SP); researcher of FAPESP and CNPQ. Autor of Musica e Repetição: a questão da diferença na música contemporânea, Livro das Sonoridades and several articles focused on Deleuze thought about art, mainly music. Among his principal papers are those firectly concerned with Deleuzean thought as “La formule de la Ritournele” (in: Deleuze: la pensée Musique – CDMC-Paris), “Music and Comunication: what music want to communicate?” (Organized Sound), “Musique et Modulation: vers une poètique du vent” (In Agencer les multiplicités avec Deleuze – Cerisy-Hermann). He studied composition with Brian Ferneyhough, Willy Correa de Oliveira and Gérard Grisey. His music has been performed by ensembles as Arditti String Quartet, Nash Ensemble, Smith Quartet, Iktus, Taller Musica Nova de Chile, New York New Music Ensemble.