« What I am trying to do, really | Main

Surfacial, Floating, Ambivalent, Sotto Voce

The musical works discussed and displayed here — in the links on the left side of this page — are surfacial and technical explorations of floating rhythmambivalent counterpoint, and submissive sotto voce.

I wrote that a long time ago. A year later, I was no longer thinking in the same way. But I wrote a glossary, to try to understand what I meant when I wrote that. Suddenly, I was thinking in the same way again.

Surfacial: If they carry any meaning beyond the sounds themselves, it will be because of a choice you made to “enter” something…an opening in the surface, between coherences. This is an aesthetic of abundance, an abundance of coherences, and thus an abundance of imagined entryways for meaning.

Floating Rhythm: Time, even metered time, can be heard more freely and openly, I find, when its timespans are combined in ways that transfer energy from one place to another without creating the feeling of a straight line. I have a lengthy discussion of what kind of hearing I mean to explore here, in a paper titled “Hearing Time Freely.”

Ambivalent Counterpoint: It’s my hope that some of these “floating” rhythms will offer you a kind of pluralistic entryway; your attention to detail turns one way instead of another, and then turns back again; this “ambivalence” might be an opportunity for a private simulation of some other experience. The ‘ambivalence’ in this music should not be mistaken for ‘ambiguity’: the wandering structures are wandering in precise ways, composed to amplify and multiply possibilities; hopefully more than once you will find yourself wandering between paradoxical or contradictory assessments of what coheres with what.

Sotto voce: This is a music which is not, in the traditional sense, declarative, or fully “voiced”; I certainly do not intend for anyone to find “the composer’s voice” at some core position. But this is personal, and I am speaking, half-way. It could be said that music differs from sound in that it is not ecological; it does not signal a way of negotiating the everyday environment. If that’s true, then speaking quietly (even when the music is sometimes sounding loudly), or not-quite fully, might be a way of inviting a non-ecological kind of listening; a listening in which no identity needs to be negotiated.




Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>