Joan Arnau Pàmies


Produktionsmittel I–III (2014-2016)

commissioned by Vertixe Sonora Ensemble (Vigo, Spain) with support from the Department of Culture of Generalitat de Catalunya and Northwestern University, and written for Alessandra Rombolá, Celia Adrián, Angélica Vázquez, Jessica Aszodi, Emily Beisel, Carlos Cordeiro, Zachary Good, and Liam Hockley

duration: ca. 2 hours

Produktionsmittel [Means of Production] is a cycle of three pieces for musicians and electronics:

I is scored for solo instrumentalist performing on flute, aluminum foil, and glass bottle [plus 5-channel electronic setup]

II is scored for solo instrumentalist performing on flute, aluminum foil, and glass bottle, accompanied by accordeon and harp [plus 5-channel electronic setup]

III is 78-page book, which can be read in the privacy of the reader's mind or performed publicly as an experimental music theater piece. The work uses a wide variety of text-types, from literary forms to parametrical, graphic, and conventional music notation. Plot-wise, it is the story of the dawn and collapse of five alien civilizations that coexist in the multiverse. Or perhaps I should say that it is the story of the very multiverse, which randomly generates spaces for the existence of life forms—forms which, in some cases, evolve into sophisticated structured systems (i.e., civilizations).

Since this is a story of space-time, it would not be very appealing to present it linearly. Instead, time is treated as a malleable substance that allows the reader/listener to experience reality as a fragmented construction whose totality must be tangentially inferred. In addition, reality is expressed in many of its scales: from the sounds produced by condensation inside of a prepared clarinet to a sonic representation of the formation of the stars.

The first public performance of III was given by Jessica Aszodi, Emily Beisel, Carlos Cordeiro, Zachary Good, and Jeff Siegfried [plus four-channel electronic part]


contact me {joanarnaupamies[at]me[dot]com} for scores, parts, and free pdfs


algorithm routing data according to specific time constraints (or, a statistical study on sociological patterns) (2016)

commissioned by and dedicated to Chartreuse (Chicago, New York, San Francisco)

three performers

duration: 8 minutes and 30 seconds kömmt drauf an, sie zu verändern. (2015)

commissioned by and dedicated to Liam Hockley (Vancouver)

one instrumentalist, four clarinets, and amplification

duration: ca. 3 minutes


segon quartet de corda (2015)

written for the JACK Quartet

commissioned by Centro Nacional de Difusión Musical (Madrid)

string quartet

duration: ca. 10-15 minutes


Program Note

The inner logic of the work of art terminates in the emergence of another reason, another sensibility, which defy the rationality and sensibility incorporated in the dominant social institutions.


The critical function of art, its contribution to the struggle for liberation, resides in the aesthetic form. A work of art is authentic or true not by virtue of its content (i.e., the “correct” representation of social conditions), nor by its “pure” form, but by the content having become form.


Herbert Marcuse: The Aesthetic Dimension (1977)


1≈∞ (EoM) (2015)

written for Weston Olencki (San Francisco)

trombone with practice mute

duration: ca. 1 minute


in medias res: a brief commentary on tradition (2014)

written for Laura Cocks, Jordan Dodson, and William Lang (New York)

commissioned by William Lang

bass flute, guitar, and trombone

duration: ca. 5 minutes



Program Note

When we ask "why?" concerning an event, we may mean either of two things. We may mean: "What purpose did this event serve?" or we may mean: "What earlier circumstances caused this event?" The answer to the former question is a teleological explanation, or an explanation by final causes; the answer to the latter question is a mechanistic explanation. I do not see how it could have been known in advance which of these two questions science ought to ask, or whether it ought to ask both. But experience has shown that the mechanistic question leads to scientific knowledge, while the teleological question does not.

-Bertrand Russell


Tradition is the illusion of permanence.

-Woody Allen


constrained semantic trajectory (2014)

written for Jeffrey Gavett (New York)

solo baritone voice

suggested duration: ca. 4-8 minutes


per ser plagat de ta dolça ferida (2013-14)

written for loadbang (New York)

with support from Department of Culture of Generalitat de Catalunya

baritone, bass clarinet, trumpet, and trombone

duration: ca. 6 minutes


Program Note

The text for "per ser plagat de ta dolça ferida" consists of four verses from four different poems by Valencian medieval poet Ausiàs March (ca. 1400-1459), arranged by the composer in this particular order. The composer would also like to express his gratitude to Xavier Bonillo Hoyos, PhD for his expertise in medieval culture and civilization. Text extracted directly from March’s manuscript.


vaig sobre neu, descalç, ab nua testa [LXVIII, 3]

corrent mal temps, perillant en la mar [LXXXI]

No te repos qui null’altra fi guarda [CV, 17]

per ser plagat de ta dolça ferida. [XXXVI, 1]


I go over snow, barefoot, head naked

running over bad weather, endangered in the sea

there is no rest for whomever keeps another purpose

to be plagued by your sweet wound.*


*English translation by the composer



written for the Fonema Consort (Chicago)

soprano, double bass, and percussion

duration: ca. 8 minutes


I primaevus

II inscriptio I

III inscriptio II

IV epilogus (to those who did not write history)


Program Notes

From Merriam-Webster's Dictionary:


noun \ˈpa-ləm(p)-ˌsest, pə-ˈlim(p)-\

: a very old document on which the original writing has been erased and replaced with new writing

: something that has changed over time and shows evidence of that change


[VItbn]^4 (o quatre panells per a trombó sol) (2013)

commissioned by and dedicated to William Lang (New York)

solo trombone with F-attachment

duration: ca. 11 minutes


[V(fl.ob.vln/c)IIIkl] (2013)

written for ensemble recherche (Freiburg, Germany)

flute, oboe, violin, cello, and piano

duration: ca. 7 minutes


[k(d_b)s]^[III(] (2012-13)

written for Ensemble Otherness (Catalonia)

solo double bass plus optional ensemble (piccolo, baritone saxophone, violin, and bass)

duration: ca. 7 minutes


[VIvox]^3 (2012-13)

three voices

duration: 92 seconds


[IVsaxVIvlc]^[III(bflbclvln/a)] (2012)

written for Ensemble Dal Niente (Chicago, IL)

sopranino saxophone, cello, bass flute, bass clarinet, violin, viola

duration: ca. 8 minutes


[IVsax(op_VIvln/c)] (2012)

written for Fonema Consort (Chicago, IL)

any type of saxophone, optional violin and cello

duration: ca. 7 minutes


[IVflbclVIvln/c] (2012)

written for the Moscow Contemporary Music Ensemble (Moscow, Russia)

flute, bass clarinet, violin, cello

duration: ca. 7 minutes


[VIsi-klIXvlc] (2012)

written for Markus Wenninger and Elisabeth Fügemann (Berlin, Germany)

clarinet in e flat, cello

duration: ca. 10 minutes


[5(bt)_6(db)] | second (2012)

written for Kathryn Schulmeister and Felix Del Tredici (Montreal, QC)

bass trombone, double bass

duration: ca. 20 minutes


[5(bt)_6(db)] | first (2011-2012)

written for Kathryn Schulmeister and Felix Del Tredici (Montreal, QC)

bass trombone, double bass

duration: ca. 5 minutes


[14(a/c)_∞p] (2012)

written for New Morse Code (New York, NY)

viola, cello, percussion

duration: ca. 12 minutes


[4v4l2nac] (2011)

written for the JACK Quartet (Chicago, IL)

amplified string quartet

duration: ca. 8 minutes


[d(k_s)b] (2011)

written for Kathryn Schulmeister (Boston, MA)

solo amplified double bass

duration: ca. 7 minutes


Horror Vacui (2011)

written for Diamanda La Berge Dramm and Alex Edelmann (Boston, MA)

violin and double bass

duration: ca. 8 minutes


postludes (hommage à A. W.) (2010)

written for Tony Rymer and Kathryn Schulmeister (Boston, MA)

cello, double bass

duration: ca. 3 minutes


canvas (2010)

written for the Polaris Trio (Basel, Switzerland)

soprano saxophone, percussion, piano

duration: ca. 15 minutes


18 (2009)

written for Joan Martí Frasquier

baritone saxophone and two-channel prerecorded electronics

duration: 8 minutes


Sound Studies (2008)

two-channel prerecorded electronics

duration: 10 minutes