Dimas de Melo Pimenta, Emanuel

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Dimas de Melo Pimenta, Emanuel

Dimas de Melo Pimenta, Emanuel, Brazilian-born Portuguese composer, architect, and urban planner; b. Sao Paulo, June 3, 1957. He studied at the Braz Cubas Univ. in Sao Paulo (degree in architecture and urbanism, 1985); also studied semiotics with Decio Pignatari and Roti Nielba Turin. In 1986 he settled in Lisbon, where he began and quickly aborted postgraduate studies in art history at the Universidade Nova; also studied Zen techniques of composition, gagaku, ragas, and occidental music with Koellreutter, and learned to play alto and soprano flutes. In 1993 he completed an M.B.A. degree at the European Univ. His compositions, in particular the tape works, represent an eclectic incorporation of unusual source materials and utilization of novel compositional methods. From the 1970s he applied computer technologies and from the mid-1980s both Virtual Reality and Cyperspace technologies to both music and architecture. His career has spanned the arts to include graphic and urban design, photography, and creative writing. He publ. three highly creative theoretical treatises, Tapas: Architecture and the Unconscious (Sao Paulo, 1985), Virtual Architecture (London, 1991), and Teleanthropos (Lisbon, 1999). Exhibits of his graphic scores using virtual environments have been shown at the Sao Paulo Cultural Centre (1984), the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon (1987), the Biblioteque Nationale de Paris (1993), the Computer Art Museum in Seattle (1993), and the National Gallery of Budapest (1994). Several of his musical scores were commissioned by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, including Microcosmos (1993–95). His catalog numbers some 300 works, almost all prerecorded.


ACOUSTIC: Spheres for Large Ensemble (1981); Cantos for Ensemble (1982); Quartet 1 for Bass Clarinet,

Tenor Saxophone, Clarinet, and Flute (1984) and 2 for Piano, Flute, Clarinet, and Cello (1984); Concert for 2 Musicians and 1 Piano (1985); La Mer for Large Ensemble (1985; also for electronics); Constellation for 4 Marimbas (1991); Pulsar for Percussion (1991); Through the Looking Glass for Ensemble (1992); Olivestone for Soprano and Alto Transverse Flutes (1999); Voglio Vedere Le Mie Montague for Large Ensemble (1999); Interior Folds for Viola (1999). ELECTROACOUSTIC : Spheres III for Ensemble and Tape (1981–82); Vazio for Chorus, Percussion, Keyboards, and Tape (1982); Frankenstern, opéra for 20 TV Sets, Soprano, 2 Mezzo-sopranos, Baritone, Piano, and Tape (1984); 20 TV Sets and a Priest for 20 TV Sets and Tape (1984); A Bao a Qu for Ensemble, Synthesizers, Video Score, and Tape (1985); Concert for Frogs and Crickets, with Brazilian forest sounds (1985); Factory for 2 Tenors and Tape, based on a fragment from Mozart’s Don Giovanni (1986–87); Intra-Uterine Sounds for Doppler and Electronics (1992); Microcosmos for Percussion and Tape, based on nanotechnology principles (1993–95); Voglio Veere Le Mie Montagne 2 for Tape and Electronics (1999). MAGNETI C TAPE: Emiedrico (1981); Airports (1984); Short-Waves 1985, utilizing radio emissions (1985), and SBb(r) (1986), both for the Merce Cunningham Dance Co.; On Bartok, based on the 1st movement of Bartok’s Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta (1986); Stones, using indigenous Brazilian instruments (1988). DIGITAL TAPE : Music from 144 Voices (1987); Webern Variation (1987); Sun, using the structure of the sound waves from the sun (1987); Plan, using sound particles of medieval instruments from 8th- to llth-century Islamic music from Andalusia, structured on patterns first used by Palestrina (1987); Twilight, based on gagaku music (1987); wHALLtz, using 32 loudspeakers from 3 structural fragments of J. Strauss Jr/s Kaiserwalzer (1987); Crossing Over (1988); Beethoven Quartet, based on a fragment from Beethoven’s Quartet, op.130 (1988); Strange Loopings, following Kurt Godel’s theorem (1988); Musak, “kitsch music” for supermarkets, elevators, shopping centers, postal centers, etc. (1988); Dipak, based on an ancient North Indian evening raga (1989); Finnegans for Voice and Computer (1989); Music for Nothing, “constructed from a graphical complex drawn from the frontiers of chaos” (1989); Gravitational Sounds, using strange mathematical attractors (1991; for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company); Area (1996); Andromeda (1997); Book One, using digital voices (1997). OTHER: Difesa Delia Natura, soundtrack to a film on Joseph Beuys (1998).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire