"He no longer endures music, he finds it’s so
full of useless sounds.”
Elias Canetti (from: The Human Province)
"Music and poetry already bore me after a short time –
because it is unbearable to me, predictable, to have it come
over me without answering, not to take the initiative yourself.
I love it only in entire precious fragments – models.”
Paul Valerie (from: Les Cahiers)
Of course I never write in a diary myself, I am too impatient for that. Bur it was always the non-dramatic texts and especially the diary-like journals which inspired me to write my music-theater works and audio plays: the Sudelbücher by Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, The Congo Diary by Joseph Conrad, The Excavation Reports by Heinrich Schliemann, Les Cahiers by Paul Valerie, The Notebook of the Pinetree by Francis Ponge, Walden by Henry David Thoreau and lately, notes by Elias Canetti. Maybe this is because of what the French author Maurice Blanchot has observed in this type of text:
"the journal roots the movement of writing in time
in the humbleness of the everyday, dated and preserved by its date...
it is said under the safeguard of the event, it belongs to the affairs,
the incidents, the commerce of the world, to an active present,”
Maurice Blanchot (from: The Essential Solitude)
The two aspects that this form of writing evokes in me are first a symphonic form that seems to contradict with a large orchestral piece and the shortness and boldness of the personal notes and perspectives of what Blanchot called the "active present.”
The sound samples are recordings from the past ten years (1992-2002), some of which came up in the context of my composition and music theater works: in the rehearsals with Les Percussions des Strasbourg ("...meme soir. - ), with Eric Sleichim and the Belgian Blindman Saxophon Quartett ("Stadt Land Fluss”), with the Japanese shamisen player Yumiko Tanaka ("Hashirigaki”), with the British drummer Chris Cutler ("Cassiber”), with musicians of the Ensemble Modern ("Black on White” and "Walden”), with the French actor André Wilms ("Max Black”) among others.
Aus einem Tagebuch in not to be misunderstood as a document, which contains spectacular material or which can be read directly, rather it can be considered as a way to deal with everyday sounds or noises "in the name of things” (Francis Ponge): the sound of the spokes of an old bicycle wheel, or the spring of a shock absorber, a marble in a bowl, the never repeated rests of an instrumental sound, etc.; both machine like and organic material is the starting point of that notation. The actual challenge of the piece seems to be in the form of the composition. There are many (16 to 20) very short individual images, which seem to be independent that are separated from each other by a constantly repeated motive.
H.G. © 2003 Columbia Artists Management LLC
Translation by Elizabeth Ely Torres
1 January 2000