Written for the final exams of the Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi di Milano, Il colore dell’ombra was first performed in its entirety by the soloists of Ensemble Multilatérale — Nathalie Shaw, Séverine Ballon and Lise Baudouin — in March 2011.
In Il colore dell’ombra, Iannotta intervenes on the instruments themselves, rebalancing the ensemble in one of many acts of homage to Ravel’s piano trio. The polished bourgeois voices of the violin, piano, and cello are alternately detuned, muted, and relegated to extreme registers. In restructuring the piano trio’s natural resonance (as Ravel did), Iannotta invokes sounds that signify our instruments’ language of materiality: wood, hair, resin, metal, flesh. The grain of each instrumental voice comes to the fore, creating uncommon texture and vibration. The slack, de-tuned strings vibrate loosely and gutturally; low piano strings, muted at precise harmonic points, ring in falsetto and emit a strange acoustic glow.
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