DIVERSO IL TEMPO  for cello and piano

Composed for the Duo Berman Wieringa in 1991. The title comes from a poem called ‘impercettibile il tempo’ by the italian poet Salvatore Quasimodo. Diverso il tempo means: ‘time is different’, also: ‘the vari- able time’. in the poem, two ways of experiencing ‘imperceptible time’ are compared. inspired by this, i tried to find out what the experience of time is in music. Diverso il tempo consists of two movements, or dances if you will, with the same quarter note tempo of 112. a constant beat is measuring time, while cello and piano play in unison continuously. Just like in JacobTV's Toccata, the interval of the prime is fundamental. Both dances have a monochrome structure, in order to elicit the experience of something that is perhaps impossible: the imperceptibility of time. The first dance shows time during the rotation of a mill-wheel, whereas the second one shows time dancing on the skin of a reddening orange.

Impercettibile il tempo


Nel giardino si fa rossa

 l’arancia, impercettibile

il tempo danza

sulla sua scorza,

la ruota del mulino si stacca

all piena dell’acqua

ma continua il suo giro

e avvolge un minuto

al minuto passato

o futuro. Diverso il tempo

sul vortice del frutto;

indeclinabile sul corpo

che riflette la morte,

scivola contorto

chiude la presa

alla mente, scrive

una prova di vita.


Salvatore Quasimodo

Imperceptible time


in the garden the orange

reddens, imperceptible

time dances

on its skin,

the mill-wheel starts turning

at high water level

and keeps on turning

and makes minute

by minute past

or future. time is different

on the fruit’s peel;

constantly on the body

that reflects death,

it continues winding,

closing the mind’s water supply; writing a proof of life.


Salvatore Quasimodo