The Time of the Encounter

Of the three principal modalities for the creation of the new—the dark precursor (“so is the world born” [Deleuze]), the contemporary (a counter move against the forces of the present [Baross]), and the encounter as a becoming [Deleuze])—two, we know, correspond with distinct, discontinuous and heterogeneous, temporalities. The first passes in reverse, against the progression of time; in the second, the present heterogenises itself, leaps outside the flow of chronological time to contract with different geological layers of the past. What is it that we can say with regard to the third, the time of becoming, or the multiple times/temporalities of plural becomings, when it comes to sound and music? What new event passes in their time? Or rather, what new orders of temporal relations must necessarily be constituted between different elements for a becoming in/of sound— not to pass, for it does not pass, it does not aim at or reach an end—to take place, as it must, in time?

These are some of the questions in the context of which I will attempt to ask: what happens in and to time when sounds encounter one another (for sounds do encounter one another; have an extraordinary propensity for articulating, conjugating, reciprocal modifying, contracting, etc. with one another, which explains contemporary music’s appetite for inventing/incorporating new sounds), and how the critical categories of musical time—of Boulez, Deleuze, Manoury—may already think the difference between not just between music and painting, or sound and colour, or “brute” noise and “son bruité,” but also between music and writing.