Nicolás Varchausky Awarded Grant from Argentina's National Fund for the Arts

Argentina’s National Fund for the Arts (FNA) has awarded Nicolás Varchausky a grant to continue working on his cycle of 3D sound pieces called Resonances, Turbulences & Explosions, based on recordings of single phonemes. With FNA grant support, Varchausky will developed three new pieces using the recordings of the letters /t/, /a/ and /n/. The pieces are expected to be completed and premiered by May 2014. The first three pieces (/f/, /S/ and /k/) were commissioned by Secretaría de Cultura de La Nación Argentina and premiered on December of 2011.

Resonances, Turbulences and Explosions is a series of short acousmatic pieces for 3D sound that explore the inner soundscapes of each letter of the alphabet. Using analysis and re-synthesis techniques within an algorithmic composition environment, each piece takes the recording of a single phoneme to turn it inside out, unfolding in the process their latent acoustic beauty. The series takes its name from the basic acoustic properties of speech: when we speak, we filter turbulent streams of air, resonate in our heads periodic interruptions of those streams and release abruptly built up pressure under the glottis.

This long-term project represents the continuation of Varchausky's decade-long artistic research on the tensions between sound and meaning within spoken word, and its possibilities as a musical material. Evolving from his early pieces that explored the poetic resonances of everyday speech using field recordings and collage techniques, the current series reaches an utmost abstraction point on his research. By immersing ourselves in the hidden soundscapes within the smallest sonic units capable of conveying a distinction in meaning, the series becomes a search for language’s ultimate acoustic matter and meaning.

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