Gesture, facture, allure: the sculptor molds the clay

Leonardo Aldrovandi

Laboratório de Linguagem Sonora
Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo
Rua João Ramalho, 182 - 7o andar. Perdizes
São Paulo - SP Brasil


Often associated with live stage performance, gesture is presented here as a matter of eletroacoustic composition with out-of-stage performance and as the product of two correlatives: gestural movement and listening. Although stage performance may reestablish the richness of concert music through recent achievements on real-time synthesis and interactive systems, it may also overshadow the notion of gesture as correlative to listening. This is true if gesture is regarded only as the performer's presence on stage. Gestural movement, as body motion and interaction, has the potential to produce rich and unique sound qualities and to control sound behaviour in large scales. To show that any sign of life and richness in sound is related to the perception of the way it was produced, two of Pierre Schaeffer's traditional concepts are presented: facture and allure. A look over perceptible traces found in sounds produced in out-of-stage performance is concerned with the association among sound fluctuation observation, gestural movement and listening experience. The notion of gesture in eletroacoustic composition brings out a different perspective if careful treatment of gesture is treated way before any recording. It is also one in which gestural movement, large and small scale fluctuation production and observation and the communicative aspect of the listening activity are embedded.