Evoking a landscape through the encounter of the voices of performer and composer

José Neto, Jessica Gubert, Luís Afonso Montanha, Silvio Ferraz

são paulo university, Brazil



This work discusses some ways in which the traditional relationship between composer and performer, in which creation and conception fall to the first, and faithful interpretation to the second, can be subverted. These concepts, solidified by the European romantic tradition of the 19th century, such as the devaluation of the interpreter, the creation of the canonical repertoire, the overvaluation and materialization of the work of art by the composers’ score and deification, influenced musical practices still reverberating today. Here, a creation based on the encounter between the unique voices, experiences, creative and poetic desires of the performer and the composer is sought, recognizing the creative powers in both activities. To study the effective practice of this creation, the investigation is carried out through Artistic Research. This discussion is based on a creative process in which the authors — a clarinetist and a composer — sought to evoke a specific landscape on stage. This landscape, the Chapada dos Guimarães, a place considered the geodesic center of South America, in Brazil, has great affective importance for the performer. The creation was shared among the authors, each according to their domains of work, always departing and going through both musical and corporal experimentation. In the fields of performance and composition, experimentation guided the creative processes, resulting in new sounds and other ways of approaching the musical instrument; and the poetic images of that landscape were brought by the performer herself, from her personal experiences. For this, both musical and performing arts procedures were used, so that not only the sound, but also the movements, images and the performance scene were an integral part of the work. In this work, the performer resembles an actor who makes scenes and worlds arise from her presence and her creative and affective work; and the composer, in turn, to a theater director who gives indications from a point of view / listening external to the performance, seeking to prepare this flow and nourish the work of the performer. Thus, the creative work focuses on activating this specific landscape, this scene, at the time of performance so that Chapada dos Guimarães can emerge through the performer. Through this collaborative process, some practices and concepts have surfaced. From Gilles Deleuze and Claire Parnet, the encounter (of voices, movements, images, thoughts) as the way in which this creation takes place. From Adriana Cavarero, the importance of the uniqueness of the voices involved. From Yoshi Oida and Peter Brook, empty the scenic space to let something new happen. From Silvio Ferraz, the idea of music that flows like a river, that breathes. And Nicholas Cook, questioning the composition-performance relationship itself. Thus, some ways of composing from the body are outlined, of emphasizing creation in performance, and of creating from the meeting of voices.

 Keywords: Clarinet, Musical Collaboration, Artistic Research.


José de Mattos Neto (1988) is from Brazil, at São Paulo province. He researches voice and body as a compositional impulse. He concluded his Mastering in Music – Sonology at University of São Paulo, entitled “With many voices: composition as encounter”, oriented by Silvio Ferraz (with scholarship from FAPESP); and also his bachelor degree in Music — Composition at the same institution. He has been approved in the PhD program in Music – Sonology, at the same institution and advisor. He organized and participated in an artistic residence with practices and ideas from Roy Hart Voice Work, with Drs. Paula Molinari and Paulo Rios, from Federal University of Maranhão. He made musical direction, composition, and vocal coaching in different theater works from 2015 to the present, performing (as scenic musician) and premiering his compositions in places throughout Brazil.


Jessica Gubert is a brazilian clarinetist, master degree of musical performance in clarinet at the São Paulo University (USP) and has a degree in music and bachelor in clarinet by the Federal University in Mato Grosso (UFMT). Winner of the Nascente-USP contests in the Erudite Music category in 2019 and the 1st Soloist of Mato Grosso Contest in 2017. She’s currently Director of Institutional Development at the Ciranda Institute – Music and Citizenship, a social project that teaches orchestra instruments to children and teenagers in the state of Mato Grosso. She has been approved in the PhD program of Musical Performance in Clarinet at the São Paulo University (USP) under Professor Luís Afonso Montanha orientation.


Luis Afonso Montanha was the first clarinet player for over 20 years on Orquestra Sinfônica Municipal of São Paulo and lecturer at São Paulo University and Doctor in Musicology (UNICAMP University). Montanha plays clarinet and bass clarinet (clarone) in several chamber music ensembles, among them: Quinteto de Clarinetes Sujeito a Guincho, Duo Clarones (with Henri Bok – Holland), ClarinEtc and Opus Brasil. He completed a master degree for clarinet and bass clarinet at the Rotterdam Conservatoire (Holland), achieving the highest score, having Walter Boeykens and Henri Bok as his teachers. Since 1992 he has been Professor at the Music Department at University of São Paulo. Montanha is regularly invited as a guest teacher in festivals in Brazil and abroad, as well as a soloist and chamber musician in concerts in Brazil, Europe and the United States, playing important premieres within the clarinet and bass clarinet repertoire. Luís Afonso Montanha plays Selmer instruments.


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. Author of Música 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 directly concerned with Deleuzean thought as “La formule de la Ritournelle” (in: Deleuze: la pensée Musique – CDMC-Paris), “Music and Communication: what music wants to communicate?” (Organized Sound), “Musique et Modulation: vers une poétique 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 Música Nova de Chile, New York New Music Ensemble.