Part 2: Digesting the Material

Throughout Hack, the transcribed source material is subjected to a range of transformations. These include the extraction of accompanimental figures based on the pitches and rhythms of the speech, the fragmentation and distribution of the speech melody among several instrumental parts, and the creation of new musical lines extrapolated from musical artifacts found in the source material.

One particularly “digested” movement is “13 - Kumail Nanjiani”, in which the speech melody has been pixelated into a web of pointillistic pizzicato attacks. When the viola enters, it presents some of the original speech melody alongside the pizzicato texture.

In the opening of “3 - Dave Chappelle”, the speech material is fragmented into short, angular gestures and distributed among the three lower voices. On top of that, the stress patterns of the speech are picked up and elongated by the first violin’s pizzicato attacks. As the section continues, the second violin joins the first, creating a rhythmic counterpoint that emphasizes the differences of rhythmic emphasis implied by the speech. I see this treatment of the material as an amplification of the musical tensions already present in the original speech.

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