Portrait: Luis Gomez-Imbert

a work for doubleness and fixed media

About Portrait (Retrato)

My interest in improvisation began while apprenticing with Earle Brown. Yet my medium of choice was recorded sound. I began composing the Portrait Collection of electroacoustic music pieces in 1990 to experiment with improvisation. My role in these works was to create fixed media composed soundscapes upon which musicians, poets, and other media artists I was fond of could improvise. What made them portraits was the fact that the source material contained only sounds from a recorded interview or improvisation by the specific performer who wanted the piece from me. My assumption was that these recordings should contain unique traces of the sonic personality of that person, the same way that in photography, film captures unique physical features belonging to a particular subject.

Portrait: Luis Gomez-Imbert with a recorded improvisation by Luis on the double-bass, from which I extracted numerous audibles representing particular to his playing and digitally encoded them. I his case, I strong them together randomly into a sound sequence or melody. A second level of randomness was applied using a technique that i call Tracing that consists of setting up very short rhythmic gestures that can be used to trigger different moments in the sound melody by slowly tracing the silhouette of each audible with the help of a cursor. It was my way to improvise into a close form situation using recorded sound. The question always is, who much of the persons identity remains in the deconstructed soundscape? To my ears, the process seems to amplify these peculiarities. That’s why i love these pieces very much. At this point my job was done and the expectation was that Luis—whose ability to improvise I have known for a long time—would improvises freely over the tape, thus completing the idea of ​​the “portrait.” Key to the experience for the listener is the careful blending of the electronic and the acoustic sounds of the bass and loud speaker in performance which i consider a very important aspect of the piece.


Con Corda
Luis Gómez-Imbert, Juan Francisco Sans
Label: Lyric (2) ‎– CD 93033
Format: CD, Album
Country: Venezuela
Released: 1994

1 De La Liberación De Las Formas
Composed By – Juan Francisco Sans

Las Meninas
Composed By – Roberto Cedeño
2 Hispania
3 Joropo Cibernético
4 Tonada
5 Gaita

Composed By – Fidel Luis Rodriguez
6 Lied De Bolsillo (A La Manera De Sofronio De Jerusalem)
7 Andante Evangélico
8 Toccata

Dos Piezas Para Contrabajo Y Piano
Composed By – Pedro Simón Rincón
9 I
10 II

11 Con Corda
Composed By – Josefina Benedetti

Canciones Sin Palabras
Composed By – Juan De Dios López
12 Matinal
13 Nocturnal
14 Elegía
15 Danza
16 Omaggio

Composed By – Domingo Sánchez Bor
Bajo La Sombra Del Mundo
Composed By – Miguel Noya
17 Rohanda
18 Cruces De Intención
19 La Gran Puerta
20 Retratos

Composed By – Gustavo Matamoros

Double Bass – Luis Gómez-Imbert
Piano – Juan Francisco Sans
Copyright © 1994, Lyric Productions C.A.