Commissioned by the Teatro Nacional de S. Carlos.
Zapping (2004) is a word used to define the act of fast changing of channels in a TV set. The spectator pays (very brief) attention to the most varied and contrasting flashing content, with no thematic sense at all, nor any continuity.
This work was written as a response to a commission where I was asked to pay a tribute to Mozart and Haydn's late symphonies. By being confronted, today, with the 18th century, I decided to do a musical reproduction of the "spirit" of zapping - a typical manifestation of our contemporary experience, in so many fields and contexts.
Therefore, in this piece, there is no developing of material nor any organic discourse within the musical narrative. Zapping starts as it starts and ends as it ends. But it could start and end differently. As opposed to a music that would try to explore the maximum consequences of its material, I was attracted - and for a duration of 4'33" - to exploring the idea of briefness and speed, so that detailed and careful listening would become virtually impossible.
Within this context Haydn's B-flat Major Symphony No. 102; and Mozart's E flat Major No. 39 K.543, became a mere "pretext" - or, even, as mere objets trouvés.
As the music evolves, using some fragments of both symphonies, I propose my personal zapping.
Regarding a larger formal concept, I also explored the (incidental) tonic / dominant relation (Eb / Bb), established between the two works.
Zapping is dedicated to my children Bernardo and Carlota.
© Luís Tinoco, Oct. 2004