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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Form in fact and latent form

En español aquí

Some silences are made, of each one sitting there, in the ground, in some couch around. Some silences and only a long, dying breath from the air conditioner, oblivious to us all. The street outside and soon the passing busses, announcing themselves or stopping at trafic lights making the windows shake; thus the atention is sharpened. The musicians look at the ground. I'm with them, behind at left. With my first gesture they look at me. I breathe. With my second gesture the music begins. But there is nothing that excludes the busses, the air conditioning or the steps of latecomers, looking to settle into the small room. There is nothing in this music letting you release those silences without feeling that a catastrophe would occur.

If is there a question about how music "transforms" time, there should be a question about how music "transforms" space. Is form "habitable"?

I'm interested in course untied of discourse. When the elements of the narrative loose the tension that keeps them tied: you can't tell when "B comes after A" because is difficult to tell what A and B are, what are their differences. The atention "flotes", is no longer "directed"; the form elapses but it also sourround us.

Thinking the form here is to think in this unmeasurable force, in the fact or event simultaneously invoking every listener and going through each one individualy. It implies not only the work sounding but also the space and the actions in it, the memories and the spectations. Multiplicity leaking.

From this perspective, composing is not a direct operation on sound. After all you can only speculate about it: it's impossible to foresee every contingency. Even more if you deal with notation. As Earle Brown says: music writing is finite, sound syntax is infinite. On what the composer operates? Saying that the only thing that he does is speculate on what will happen, via more or less control in notation or in the arranging of materials is insufficient.

From here, thinking in composing becomes more abstract. What we can say up to this point is that composing is timeless; that form substantially passes and because of that the composition doesn't operate directly over it. Then, even if composing involves organizing elements, this organization isn't "in time". In any case the time is divided for the composer in a) another parameter (duration) and b) that on which the form "unfolds". It's interesting to stop at this point, because it may be the key to understand this issue. I'm thinking in a "folded form", a form without time. What remains: only the relations established between the elements of the piece. Notation is the codification of this structure. It remains to be seen what features it has.

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