DER REGEN, DAS GLAS, DAS LACHEN
für 25 Instrumentalisten (1994)
(Rain, glass, laughing)
"Der Regen, das Glas, das Lachen" for 25 instrumentalists: this marks the juncture of a one tone piece and white noise. The constituent polymetric one tone piece takes 20 minutes to "glissando" once through the octave and in the process turns into an all tone piece, while the total sound passes in stages through 6 further layers of simultaneous sound until it arrives at a single level of white noise. The simultaneity of the graduation from coarsegraininess (tone) to fine-graininess (= more compactness, more noise) right down to the surface (white noise) is maintained - potentially - from start to finish. This means that what is played is extremely dense and a large part of the orientation is left to the listener. Over long periods she is left alone to listen in to the various levels of the piece, to find her way IN THE SOUND.
This process of listening in is an essential part of the piece itself, the actual event, the reason it came into being. No-one is "forced" when listening to select or distinguish between the different levels when listening to the piece. Nor is THE SOUND of the piece made up of its individual levels. I would like to say, IT OCCURS beyond the levels, through the levels, and in the ears of the listener. This is where "melodies" are created which do not feature in any of the layers, but which for example begin with a sound in layer 6, immediately followed by one in layer 4 and then in 3, only to end in layer 5. One might say that the process of listening does not run "along" the axis of chronological time but takes place "across" time. Or that it expands instead of remaining on a line. In this sense, it is a "kind of spectralisation of attention". And as a listener I enjoy oscillating between the different forms of listening - including that of absence.
(transl. Anne Durand and Mark Court)
> score, detail
> listen (Ensemble Klangforum, conductor: Silvain Cambreling)
> Programmnote: Rezitativ und Arie
> Phonomanie Ulrichsberg 1997