string series

26 January 2015 - musik muzikologi

Playlist: string series

String Series was composed and realised towards the end of 2014-beginning of 2015. It consists of 9 pieces: diatonika, doxa, kaos, jouissance, kromatika, okeanos, oblika, the sinking of the titanic (with an additional piano version), strings 2015.

They illustrate my approach to composition, based on the Freudian-Lacanian text. This allows to consider music as a semiotic process, equivalent to that of the dream-work, as described by Freud in The Interpretation of Dreams (1900): some initial material, transformed and expanded through condensation and displacement, then submitted to a final subjective revision.

For each composition, some initial material was created, amounting to just a few pitches. Then, trough metaphor and metonymy, they were multiplied and re-arranged. Some additional (subjective) revisions was made on the final results.

For Freud, a dream is another form of thinking, consisting of condensation and displacement of unconscious thoughts towards the conscious, as a result of the constant flow of libido. The implications concerning music composition, or the production of any other artistic form, is obvious. Let’s note that A.B. Marx had a similar and remarkable intuition concerning the musical process (1841), with his concept of satzen and gegensatzen, which he attached, for better or worse, to the then prevalent epistemology, Organicism. Arnold Schoenberg will push further this intuition with his concept of motive-form.

Lacan used to say that women are closer to the real. Well, it’s not just women. Being close to your unconscious, and being able to act out its productions is not the privilege of any one sex. I would say that it is just a matter of allowing oneself to occupy a feminine position, as my friend Petros Patounas would say.

The realisation of String Series was done in Cubase, using Kontakt and the following string libraries: Kontakt’s own VSL, Lass 2, Albion, Cinematic Strings, Orchestral Essential & Session Strings. Another process of condensation and displacement was applied to the libraries own internal parameters, Final mastering was done with the Ozone mastering VST plugin.

When listening to those pieces online, please do connect your net device to a decent sound system, or use a decent pair of headphones.

*NOTA: these compositions CAN BE performed by a real string ensemble. Jouissance has a string, woodwind and brass sections. If you are a performer and part of a string ensemble, whether as an amateur or a professional, scores are available, so DO get in touch.

Merci, et bonne écoute.

Update (April 2015): this research was submitted for a presentation at a forthcoming conference on composition (Music and/as Process 3rd Annual Conference 2015, organised by the RMA, based in the UK). It was turned down.

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