Composition by Gisela Paterno: Visions in three planes

Composition by Gisela Paterno: Visions in three planes.

Composition by Gisela Paterno: Visions in three planes.

Check a composition by gisela paterno and the explanation of the parts.


Here we share a great article, full of composition matters, which has been posted at WKMT Blog. Gisela Paterno shares her composition and explains how it works from a theoretical point of view.

“As the title suggests, the work is based on the idea of three different musical planes on which the work is built.

– The first generator plane or layer are three contrasting articulations on the note C2 (fourth Open string) of the violoncello.

– The second is a plane (or layer) that is based on different timbral processes on ideas displayed in the violoncello, so that the TAPE (Live Electronics) can offer a more microscopic view of the acoustic sound, fragmenting it into its spectral composition.

– The third and last plane is the result of the analysis of the harmonics of the sound of the violoncello, quantified to be interpreted by acoustic instruments through a free orchestration according to the presented ensemble:



Electric Guitar with a Pedalboard (Digitech RP-6)



Alto Sax

Double Bass


The sound gesture exposed in these three planes was then complemented in its live performance with a video, giving a visual aid to what the music was expressing, the aim was to reinforce the sound gesture and translate it to a visual one.

Note: the Live Electronics are notated on the music sheet as well with specific symbols designed for this piece in particular in order to help the conductor following the changes on it.

  • INTRODUCTION (up to bar 17):

The introduction of this piece is based on four different sounds made on the tailpiece of the cello. The first sound is in the 2nd beat (B ¾ flat), then a D4 in the 2nd beat of the 5th beat, and the last two sounds are in the 12th and 14th bars (B flat 4)

The timbre varies in the position and the degree of pressure exerted on it. The sounds that make up this small first section of the work have as their purpose a sonority of indeterminate character, showing first the sonority of the cello with which it is least identified.

Over this layer, the cello makes certain sounds fixed in the score but in an improvised manner, always based on the sounds of the TAPE, which are also imitated by different instruments, such as the alto saxophone with sounds “with soffio” in bars 17 and 22, and the double bass and the violin with sounds on the bridge (“air”) and Alto Sul Ponticello (ASP) in bar 22.

  • MOTIVE A (C Alto Sul Ponticello bar 18):

The sound used to give life to the first theme of the work is an articulation on the note C2 (fourth string to the air of the cello) executed from the position of Sul Tasto (SP) towards Alto Sul Ponticello (ASP) to then return to Sul Tasto , accompanied by a progressive increase in the dynamics when the bow reaches the Alto Sul Ponticello, and decreases when reaching again Sul Tasto”. […]

Here is a YouTube link to listen (and see the visuals that accompanied the piece performed live): VISIONS IN THREE PLANES by Gisela Paterno

You can access the full article through the link aforementioned.

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