On March 24, 2024, the Italian online music magazine Percorsi Musicali published the interview “new harmonies from spectralism – an interview with Rozalie Hirs” by Ettore Garzia, preceded by an introduction about her music. See below for some quotes from the interview.

“As a composer, I like to delve into the exploration of sound itself, beyond traditional harmonic and melodic structures. This includes experimenting with frequency calculations to uncover new harmonic possibilities, and integrating electronic and acoustic sounds in order to forge a new dialogue and fusion of the two realms. Understanding and utilizing the physics of sound can lead to innovative compositional techniques, such as the modification of the overtone series or incorporating phenomena known from the science of psychoacoustics.”

“Understanding spectral composition involves grasping pitch as a concept existing along a continuous spectrum of frequencies and utilizing absolute frequencies alongside other musical parameters when creating electronic sounds and composing instrumental scores for live performances.”

“It’s perception that defines our humanity, bridging the gap between our physical existence and the surrounding world. So my interests as a composer naturally extend into the realms of natural science and psychology, especially focusing on acoustics and psychoacoustics.”

“Human perception is essentially an ongoing process of making sense of the input provided by our senses. […] I find this utterly intriguing. We possess the capability to auditively map out our surroundings and differentiate among various sound sources. And it is also our auditory system, refined over thousands of years, that enables us to appreciate music. In fact, we engage in aural interpretation as an ongoing stream of anticipation, and surprise. It is this stream of anticipation and surprise that composers, myself included, seek to craft and evoke.”

“As a composer I am deeply interested in the intersection of music, mathematics, and science. Drawn to their inherent beauty and the natural balance they bring to musical structures, I have indeed found inspiration in mathematical concepts, including the Fibonacci series (and fractal structures based on Fibonacci ratios). This sequence of numbers, in which all consecutive pairs are in accordance with the golden section, mirrors patterns observed in natural growth, thereby infusing compositions with an organic sense of development and balanced elegance.”

“Working alongside architects and designers has been immensely rewarding. These collaborations have pushed me to think beyond the conventional boundaries of music concerts and concert halls. In particular, it has given me the opportunity to explore how music, technology, and spaces may interact to create immersive experiences.”

Read the full English-language text at Percorsi Musicali [accessible by subscription] or here.