Commissioned by Festival Neue Musik Rockenhausen and Milano Musica
Première: 03/10/2018, Festival Neue Musik Rockenhausen
Voice: Salome Kammer
Background vocals: Ginevra Nervi, Andrea Agostini
With excerpts from Alan Watts recordings
Sound engineer: Massimo Faggioni
Featured image by RabaRama
Identity, in music as in life, is a working hypothesis.
Preamble: during the demolition of the simulacra of romanticism, we forgot to take down the effigy of the tormented, solitary artist. Corollary: we value the individuals, and we have an anthology of names as an art history manual.
Cut; zoom out; distance shot: the names become a cloud of pale dots. In the crossfade, the pen I hold dances with the pens of those I love (Schubert, Grisey, Berio, McCartney, Romitelli …); and in further crossfades, their pens dance with what they loved or will love (Haydn, Ravel, Puccini, Porter, Hendrix …); and so on, through all the crossfades, until the last signal is gone. This is the game. The history of music is a history of crossfades; a history of discovery at least as much as of invention.
Rewinding the film, the voice of Alan Watts: you can see yourself as existing only now, that’s the only “you” there is. The alternative to that, logically, is to see yourself as everything.
In the background, as picture-in-picture: polaroids of Samuel Beckett on the scene of “Not I”, illuminated by a single ray of light. The captions appear on the lower margin, all aligned in the center: “an April morning”, “a persistent buzzing”, “a tiny little girl”.