Topography of the (One)

Topography of the (One) is a composition for 11-stringed alto guitar by Swedish composer Christer Lindwall. It is a conceptually driven composition, with a vocal part for the soloist to perform, extracted from the phonological matter of philosophical texts, which are eventually recited at the close of the piece. The premiere, where the piece was staged by Swedish director Jörgen Dahlqvist and guitarist Stefan Östersjö, included the creation of an electronic music prelude, drawn from the same vocal material.

The programme note by Christer Lindwall reads:

Musical form, and its signification in the linguistic materiality of political economy, constitutes the fundamental building block for the “sonic text” of Topography of the (One). The repetition of “signifiers” in the music is contrasted with a modality of non-isomorphic events. Fragments from quotations from Gilles Deleuze, François Laruelle and Gilles Châtelet create a resonance or coda on repetition and difference, on lines of flight and on the real and virtual in musical and linguistic matter.

In essence, the composition can be understood as an exploration of difference and repetition, where the complexity of the detail in the score is countered by sometimes obsessive reiterations of its material. However, the nature of musical performance instigates a process in  which  the  resemblance  of  individual  phrases—indeed,  even  to the extent of exact repetition of its notated values—still never becomes a repetition, and the resemblance is always incomplete: “The simulated external resemblance finds itself interiorised in the system” (Deleuze, Difference and Repetition). In an attempt to emphasise the tension between music as performed and the material identity of musical composition as a notated artefact, Topography of the (One) builds on the assumption that “difference is valid, exists and is thinkable only within a pre-existing Same which understands it as conceptual difference and determines it by means of opposition between predicates” (ibid).

Stefan Östersjö: voice, 11-string alto guitar, electronic composition and concept Jörgen Dahlqvist: concept

Christer Lindwall: musical composition

The Struggle Hears and Plays All That We Forget Is Still Happening

Deeply moved by the recent social movements of strikes against austerity that have troubled the quietude of Quebec’s society, we desire to explore the affective territories opened by these recent struggles.

If art is a “capture of forces” (Deleuze 2002), music can be understood as a way to make heard the sound of events, their vibrational materiality. Music: a mode of thought in its own right that allows reflections of the sonic dimension of actuality but that also creates new virtual, incorporeal universes (Guattari 2013). Our proposition asks, How can music express the sound of politics, the ambiance of the different manifestations of power, and the sonic dimensions of particular political struggles? Such refraction of loss and endless potential is, as Guattari insists, art in its instinctual procession—a procession that invites a variety of subjectivities, including those closely located in human, musical, and environmental spatialities. Sound can in some ways be thought of as a dark precursor of political dynamics—harmonic nodes vibrating from the rebirth already present in the birth of the common. The countless subjectivities in social movements express themselves sonically, with music tracing feeling’s material repetitions, dramatising its arc, playing on and between its overt over-concreteness, thereby displaying the potentialities of an unclear, subconscious process against the authority of “a clear subject” (Guattari 2000). The sound of politics is in the echo of its undeniable materiality, in the decay where its materiality is modulated: not in the front-page headline but in the ink that bleeds through from an edition that was never printed.

We propose a collective experimentation that aims to hear, think, and create around the sound of the strike movements, their refrains, their rhythms, their resonances, in an attempt to share the intensity of the evanescent common that occurred. Our performance will consist of improvisatory co-compositions utilising guitars, a cello, amplifiers, a projector, voice, and sound alteration technologies. The focus on the sonic texture being composed will be maintained by slowly increasing the presence of darkness in the room as well as designing visual projections that function more as negative space than as visual objects. Paying attention to these tools, to their non-beginning, prehuman locations, we are interested in improvising with movement, repetition, language (French and English, performatively) and sonic reformulations of the immanent physical space of the conference. We seek modes of research-creation that stretch sound and sound-capture between a political event’s many non-happenings and its leftover insistent scar of “one thing having happened.”

References

Deleuze, Gilles. 2002. Francis Bacon: Logique de la sensation. 2nd ed. Paris: Editions du Seuil.

Guattari, Félix. 2000. Three Ecologies. Translated by Ian Pindar and Paul Sutton. London: Athlone Press.

—. 2013. Schizoanalytic Cartographies. Translated by Andrew Goffey. London: Bloomsbury.

The Pleats of Matter / The Matter of Pleats

This presentation comprises two intertwined components—“The Pleats of Matter” and “The Matter of Pleats”—as the perspectives from both composer and performer, respectively, on the Deleuzian concept of the fold as exemplified through the case study of Aaron Cassidy’s The Pleats of Matter for solo electric guitar and electronics.

The composition The Pleats of Matter (2005–7), which takes its title from the first chapter of Deleuze’s The Fold, is a work that explores the nature of folds, bends, and pleats, and their concomitant implications of surplus, enveloping, collapsing, and obfuscation. It is a work in which overflowing trajectories of material and process collide, overlap, collapse, and slide, where strata melt and rupture and deform, and where form and shape are only the final by-product of lines folding into one another, of shapes subsumed by other shapes, of forms twisted within other forms.

The guitar itself is a folding: the interaction between finger and string and fret, the bending and wrapping of strings with the nut and bridge and tuning pegs, the folding and slackening from the tremolo bar. . . . In this work, these folds are all made independent—not so much layered as merely simultaneous. The two hands traverse the fretboard independently, freed from their conventional roles and geographies, the actions of the hands as likely to appear behind or above an already-depressed fret as below. Joining this interface between finger and string is the tremolo bar, itself bent and folded by both hands and the occasional elbow, two foot pedals that bend and shape and twist pitch and timbre, and a further array of amplification and processing modifications on two additional electronic strands.

In “The Matter of Pleats,” presented from the performer’s perspective, the fold is examined as a concept likely to inform processes of individuation of physical gesture. The fold, as an operation that projects towards two infinities (or an infinity in two directions: “pleats of matter” and “folds in the soul”), sets a context for discussing the differences between the inside and the outside of physical actions and musical objects. And given that both physical actions and musical objects become one and the same in Cassidy’s work, a paradigm shift from sonic means-end-oriented training (for example, of traditional virtuosity) is required, implying the claim that music exists not only in the exclusive realm of sound.