Commentary

From a diary

I never write a diary myself, I am too impatient for that. But it was always the non-dramatic texts and often the diary-like journals, which inspired me for my music-theatre works and radio-plays: the "Sudelb├╝cher" 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 Pine-tree by Francis Ponge, Walden by Henry Thoreau and last not least, notes by Elias Canetti. Maybe because of what the french author Maurice Blanchot has observed in this kinds of texts:

"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 - The Essential Solitude)

The sound-samples are recordings of the past ten years (1992-2002), some of which came up in the context of my composition and music-theatre 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 japanes 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 Andr├ę Wilms ("Max Black") a.o.;

'From a diary' is not to be mistaken as a document, which contains spectacular material or which can be read directly, it can be considered as a way to deal with everyday sounds/noises "in the name of things" (Francis Ponge): the sound of the spokes of an old bicycle-wheel, the spiral of a bumper, a ball in a bowl; both machine-like and organic material is the starting point of that notations. The real challenge is rather to be seen anyway in the form of that composition.: a high number (16 to 20) very short individual images, which seem to be independent and which are seperated from eachother by a constantly repeated signal.

Heiner Goebbels
1 January 2000