(download article in pdf) In an essay titled “I Want to Find The Music, Not to Compose It”, Tom Johnson writes about a type of musical minimalism he remembers as “process music”, saying that “in [all] these cases the “composers” …
In this article, centered on my work Tramespace I (2012–13), I elaborate on my thoughts about music from philosophical and musical perspectives. Behind my perspectives is the idea of a “metaphysical space in music composition” that acts as an anchor for these ideas. This “metaphysical space” is a major concept in my doctoral dissertation at Columbia University. However, throughout this lecture I do not refer explicitly to this concept. Instead, two consequential aspects of this metaphysical space are emphasized throughout: (1) the act of composition is not just an act of writing and expressing but also, as soon as the writing takes place, one must engage him/herself in the act of listening; and (2) because of (1), the aspect of the “self” that is engaging-in-(1) is illuminated. Which leads to the existential question: “who am I (who composes)?”
My most recent pieces are a form of chamber music in which traditional musical instruments interact with everyday objects: lamps, fans, mirrors and rocking chairs play together with violins, pianos, bass clarinets and cellos.
In these "mini theaters", furniture and things acquire musical features thanks to their proximity to musical instruments, constituting a hybrid world of mixed categories.
Three musicians are on stage. Let us say it is a piano trio. They start concentrating, signaling that a performance has started. There is a long silence. Then the cello plays a sound, a simple note on the A string, lasting just a few seconds. Again, a silence – it is hard to tell how long exactly. It could be a minute, it could be many minutes. Then, out of nowhere, a piano note sounds, at the same pitch as the cello note heard before. Silence once more. Then, at some moment, the performers look at one another, and relax. Apparently, the piece is over. The violin has not played at all.
Preliminary note The research explored in this article is part of the work I am currently doing at doctoral level at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, under Professor Julian Anderson’s supervision. Introduction Vectorial harmony is an idea …
1. De belofte van Muziek Art, and above all, music has a fundamental function, which is to catalyze the sublimation that it can bring about through all means of expression. It must aim through fixations which are landmarks to draw …
Composer/performers in the Netherlands: the nuts and bolts
Anne La Berge
Composer/performers divide their time between conjuring up concepts, structures and scores and showing up on stage to play. They thrive on a precarious balance between creating...