Music for Prosthetic Congas

Music for Prosthetic Congas (2004)
Congas, Bongos and Rontontons + electronics
For Pedro Carneiro

First Performance: 25.04.04 Sonorities, Belfast (Pedro Carneiro)
Other Performances: Queen’s Festival 2004 (Renzo Spiteri), 11.06 Casa da Música, Porto (Pedro Carneiro)

The idea of prosthesis is taken as a metaphor for the electroacoustic extension of a musical instrument. Prosthetics often suggest replacement or extension of capabilities through artificial elements. They articulate inherent functions of the body while also implying notions of adaptation, reaction or rejection. The relationship between the body which hosts and the prosthesis which inhabits or replaces can be complementary but also allergic; the host can reject the prosthesis… “Music for Prosthetic Congas” explores modes of articulation that, although inherent in the instrument, cannot be released without the aid of electronics. The Conga is treated as a resonant space which is activated by electronic signals based on the spectrum of the instrument. The technique utilized here opens up possibilities for transformation of decay times and spectral content while taking advantage of the instrument as resonating body and as performative material. Concept and software were developed with Maarten van Walstijn at SARC.

Music for Prosthetic Congas was premiered by Pedro Carneiro at the Sonorities Festival, Belfast 25.04.04