Pierluigi Billone
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for female voice and ensemble
Commissioned by Wien Modern and Philharmonie Luxembourg

Face has a double meaning: light/star in Old Italian, and its typical English meaning

Fl, Kl, A-Sax, Vla, Vcl, Cb, Piano, 2 Perc, E-Guitar,1 special performer with a special amplification.

Pierluigi Billone

[some reflections about the voice in Face]

Both expressions "Voice and ensemble" and "Voice" must be clarified.
The Voice – in a general sense – appears in all parts in different ways and according to a particular hierarchy.
It involves a main vocal part (the female voice) with two vocal satellites (Flute, special performer).

  • The solo voice has a rich, free and visionary part, with traces and accents of a pseudo-ancient-"Greek tragic voice", a wide spectrum of spoken and sung moments, only inner vibrations, or instrumental like vibrations. The voice reaches its central moment of development by using only "vocal acts": actions and gestures consisting of elemental body/voice acts of presence like "belly – impulses", "throat violent noises and vibrations" and so on.
  • The special performer has a ritual and mysterious function as "mediator". Performing unconventional instrumental/vocal actions that mark and accompany the solo Voice with introductions, punctuations, commentaries, and so on, until the moment when the "mediator" takes on the musical role of the Solo Voice.
  • The Flutist plays mainly a real vocal part (hidden and filtered by the flute), completely depending on the Solo voice part.
  • The whole ensemble sometimes turns into a kind of speaking/singing consort.
  • In some particular contests there appears a kind of "fossil" voice: vocal fragments on tape with a special role (quotations from Helmut Lachenmann, Giacinto Scelsi, John Cage, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Luigi Nono).

"Voice" means here a real constellation open in all direction and senses. It appears everywhere and in any way, and its logic of appearance remains deliberately enigmatic and unclear.

The usual and traditional orientation, with its typical expressive/psychologic or mechanic/instrumental point of view, here has no place.
The body sounds and vibrates.
Some vibrations have a surface (the word).
That is also the reason why there is no real text, and when a vocal action has a spoken articulation, its meaning remains completely hidden, again deliberately.

The vocal actions occur here first as body gestures, as autonomous acts, which only afterwards lead to the word and the language. The “clearance” lies here before the word, and independent from the word.
The traditional hierarchy has been turned back.

The body eventually chews, devours, drinks, spits, vomits or builds the word anew.
The body leaves the voice coming out or hiding, always starting from its emptiness, and remaining always centred on its emptiness.
The voice needs now these independence and free detachment from the language.
Because there is something more important and urgent, now, than to set a text or write an opera.



Spuck + Gestus
Unterbrechung mit Metallischen Schlag.

Grundtexte der Vokalen Solopartie

Kàk-to Ktà-ā Mā-ta,
Kò-xu Ma-xi  Ktì-kon Kos-mo
Ka-li   Sà-vi Ktò-ma
Knē-te Dèno tòno
Krò-to Jú-mu tu Kol-lī-ve-ro
Pu-mú Kèu to Skā-pos
Kal-lī go-ktò

Knò .......
Kto-na-ōPu-ta kā-mo
Hō   Mō   Tu-è   Kì-ī

Ka(i) svi thà(i) mà-ā-kri
Tù-ī Ktē-ò  Tiā-dī-kī

M-- ᴥᴥ -r~~im-ň -----Mà-kte

Ri~i M-ma-taVà-hā-sta
Kà-pta-pòSā Mā-hà

Kàk-to-tà-ā mā -ta
Kòk-tu ma
ᴥ ᴥ

Ktō-no Ko-ktìsKa-tā
Kak-to Fam-maTe-ō
Kèt-to Là-toMaā-ta Ktā-ne
Hor Di-ktu Jè Noō//////////////

Ē-teDèno tòno
Krò-toJú-mu tu Kol-lī-ve-ro
Pu-múKèu to Skaᴥ ᴥ ᴥ ᴥ

Ktè Kō ---r~~~~~~~~~

Xù TiXI------------
R~ra Ktò Ti-si-ko RāKtā Tre No- ō

KTO-- --


Tō-no Ko-ktìs Ka-tā
Kak-to Fam-ma     Te-ō
Kò-ktu Ma-xi Ktì-kon Kos-mo
Ka-li Sà-vi Ktò-ma

Ho Kò-e Kò-e ……. Tò-e Ktò-e
Kò-e Tò-e Ktò-e To-ō
Ktā -ne
Ko-ch Kma-ā-ta

Keu-to Kàk-to-tà-ā mā –ta R~~Tò

Kèt-to Là-to Me-hé

Ne-ē Ktò

Kò-ō Ktō-e



lli-mo-no Kal-lī go-ktò

Texte der aufgenommenen Fragmente (“Fossile Stimme”)
Helmut Lachenmann

Die Musik ist etwas….hö….als……hö…
…als ich hab……
Machen wir ein bisschen leichter…
Ich hab immer so ein bisschen schlampig……-teil die Begriffe..
Nochmal die ..hö…
Die musikali-…ich muss eine Musik…uns zwingt

In unsern eigenen Ideen von Musik…

Giacinto Scelsi
Le son a un cœur,
étant sphérique, il a un centre.
C’est le centre du cœur.

John Cage
When I hear what we call music

Karl Heinz Stockhausen
Whenever we hear sounds…
we are ….changed.
We are
no longer the

It seems to me that someone is talking, and talking about
his feelings, or about his ideas of relationships.
but when I hear traffic, the sound of traffic,
▼ ▼
here at the 6th Avenue for instance,
I don´t have the feeling that anyone is talking.
I have the feeling that Sound is acting.
And I love the activity of sound.
What it does is it gets louder and quieter, and it gets higher and lower,
and it gets longer and shorter
It does all those things which have…

Luigi Nono
Come è possibile percepire, veramente,
le varie qualità di suono ?
Per questo è fondamentale per me parlare
della qualità, non tanto della sostanza del

I am completely satisfied with it.
I don´t need sound to talk to me.