Rita Torres

CESEM – FCSH: NOVA University

“Si amanece, nos vamos”: From a Goya print to a new form of usage of guitar multiphonics

The technique of guitar multiphonics gives rise to sounds with colors that are quite distinct from those of sounds produced through traditional techniques, being easier to perceive multiple pitches therein. Aiming to advance research on the tone color of the guitar, to further promote it and to establish multiphonics as core part of the guitar vocabulary, a thorough and innovative scientific investigation is being conducted on this unconventional playing technique. This paper is about the artistic research that was carried out during the implementation of results in a musical composition. The research was motivated by the problem of wanting to play simultaneously and on the same string sounds of multiphonics and a pedal-tone tremolato that was inspired by the print from which the compositional process should depart. This investigation gave rise to a new form of usage of multiphonics, narrowing thus an existing gap in what concerns variation in the beginning and/or end of the sounds. The paper provides step-by-step descriptions of the research and the piece, which are illustrated through pictures, score excerpts and audio and video examples. This kind of material can also be found in some of the footnotes, of which most intend to explain the acoustical phenomena and the musical and guitar terminology.

Keywords: tone colour research, unconventional performing techniques


Rita Torres is currently a researcher at the Centre for the Study of the Sociology and Aesthetics of Music (CESEM) of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities of Universidade Nova de Lisboa (NOVA FCSH). She was previously a researcher at CESEM’s branch at the University of Évora, at the Research Centre for Science and Technology of the Arts (CITAR) of the Portuguese Catholic University (UCP), and, as guest, at the Institute of Musicology and Music Informatics (IMWI) of the Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe. She holds a PhD in Science and Technology of the Arts from the UCP, as well as degrees in Chemical Engineering, Guitar, Musicology/Music Informatics and Composition. Her work as a researcher and as a composer has been presented worldwide in events such as international festivals and conferences and is currently centered on guitar multiphonics.
More information at www.ritatorres.eu.