Si(g)nification II

by Blasio Kavuma

Si(g)nification II was commissioned by Listenpony, and first performed at Listenpony #22, June 2022, by Mainly Two.

Blasio writes of the piece:
This piece is inspired by something called ‘signifyin(g)’, which is a rhetorical device used in African-American music.

Signifyin(g) is essentially three things:
1. taking an existing word (or musical idea) and responding to/repurposing it
2. the tension that exists between that new idea and the original one
3. a way of subverting power structures through language

This piece explores the potential for the signifying act to re-frame improvisation and interaction within a classical framework. It ‘signifies’ on the musical ideas from Bartok, Stravinsky and Weber, repurposing and recontextualising them as tools for musical interaction. The ideas become timbrally, rhythmically distinct and form a new sonic whole that exists in tension with the original(s).

Blasio Kavuma

Blasio Kavuma is a composer, arranger and curator based in London. He is an active collaborator over numerous platforms, including theatre, opera, film, visual art and dance. His work has been performed by ensembles and soloists in the U.K, U.S and Japan, and his music has featured on BBC radio 3. His music has been published by label Nonclassical.

Mainly Two

From the playful to the melancholic, the brutal to the plain silly, Mainly Two are rejuvenating the world of two violins, summoning a universe of colour from eight strings.