Whereas Chronos was inseparable from the bodies which filled it out entirely as causes and matter, Aion is populated by effects which haunt it without ever filling it up. Whereas Chronos was limited and infinite, Aion is unlimited, the way that future and past are unlimited, and finite like the instant.
—Gilles Deleuze, The Logic of Sense, 165
Already in 1969, thinking about extra temporality of the event, and inspired by the Stoics, Deleuze rehabilitated for contemporary thought the distinction between Chronos and Aion. Introducing an outside of time into the inner fabric of time itself, Deleuze argued for a chronology that is derived from the event—the event being the singularity that originates any given chronology. For a musician, for someone permanently involved in the radical here and now of the performative moment or compositional decision, Deleuze’s argumentation seems completely logical, even if paradoxical. Later, in collaboration with Guattari and particularly in A Thousand Plateaus (1980), Deleuze further developed notions of time that are seminally related to Pierre Boulez’s concepts of the smooth and the striated: (1) the non-pulsed and the pulsed flow of musical time, and (2) the continuum or the discontinuum of musical spaces. Boulezian dualisms, like Deleuzian ones, are meant neither as oppositions nor as dialectical pairs; more creatively, they refer simply to attractors, which might be activated or not, according to different actualisations of forces. The combat of Chronos and Aion is, therefore, not to be seen as a fight between opponents, but rather as lightings, as bidirectional discharges of power between two fields loaded with differential energy.
For this dialogue, the combat of Chronos and Aion is taken both as an initiator to the discussion and as a pars pro toto in terms of possible relations between Deleuze and musical practices: How and to what extent can the work of Gilles Deleuze contribute to or enhance new understandings of music? How can it be used reflexively and productively? Is there a new music after Deleuze, a new musicology after Deleuze, a new performer after Deleuze, a new listener after Deleuze?
This dialogue is born out of a public dissensus: Brian Hulse’s review (2015) of Edward Campbell’s book Music after Deleuze (2013), and Edward Campbell’s response to Hulse’s review (2015), a debate that makes reference to some texts by Martin Scherzinger and a debate that was published at a time when Martin was a visiting research fellow at the Orpheus Institute (February 2015). In a slightly provocative gesture, but in the sense of enabling a richer debate on Deleuze and music we decided to invite all parts and have a productive dialogue on music before, after, with, or without Deleuze.
Paulo de Assis, chair
Campbell, Edward. 2013. Music after Deleuze. London: Bloomsbury Academic.
Campbell, Edward. 2015. ‘Musicology after Deleuze: Response to Brian Hulse’s Review of Music after Deleuze – All Music is ‘Deleuzian’. Deleuze Studies Journal, 9 (1), 145-52.
Deleuze, Gilles. 1990. The Logic of Sense. Translated by Mark Lester with Charles Stivale. Edited by Constantin V. Boundas. New York: Columbia University Press.
Hulse, Brian. 2015. ‘Review of: Edward Campbell. 2013. Music after Deleuze, London: Bloomsbury’, Deleuze Studies Journal, 9 (1), 137-45.
about the author(s)
Paulo de Assis
Paulo de Assis is Fellow Researcher at the Oprpheus Institute, Ghent and general chair of the DARE conferences. He is an artist-researcher with transdisciplinary interests on Philosophy, French Post-Structuralism, and Epistemology.
He studied Piano with Vitaly Margulis and Alexis Weissenberg (a.o.) and Musicology with Jürg Stenzl and André Richard (a.o.), receiving a PhD and a post-doctoral appointment on the works of Luigi Nono. Commissioned by the Foundation Giorgio Cini (Venice, 2003), he completed Camillo Togni’s Piano concerto—a piece that remained unfinished at the composer’s death.
Between 2009 and 2012 he was Senior Researcher at the Centre for the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music (CESEM) at the University Nova Lisbon and Research Fellow at the Orpheus Research Centre in Music [ORCiM].
For the period 2013-2018 he was granted a European Research Council Starting Grant for the project “Experimentation versus Interpretation: exploring new paths in music performance in the twenty-first century,” hosted at the Orpheus Institute, in Ghent (Belgium). He has authored two books (on the music of Luigi Nono and Camillo Togni) and edited four others (on music notation and on contemporary composers).
Edward Campbell is Senior Lecturer in Music at the University of Aberdeen and co-director of the university’s Centre for Modern Thought. He specialises in contemporary European art music and aesthetics including historical, analytical, and aesthetic approaches to European modernism, the music and writings of Pierre Boulez, contemporary European opera, and the interrelation of musical thought and critical theory. He is the author of the books Boulez, Music and Philosophy (CUP, 2010) and Music after Deleuze (Bloomsbury, 2013) and co-editor/contributor to Pierre Boulez Studies (CUP, forthcoming 2016). He is currently working as co-editor on The Cambridge Stravinsky Encyclopedia as well as on a monograph on the importance of Asian and African music in French music since Debussy.
info & contact
University of Aberdeen, UK
e.campbell [AT] abdn.ac.uk
Pascale Criton studied composition with Ivan Wyschnegradsky, Gérard Grisey, and Jean-Etienne Marie. She earned a PhD in musicology (1999) and undertook a musical computing course for composers at IRCAM (Paris) in 1986. Her works explore sound variability, ultrachromatism, multi-sensoral receptions, and the spatialisation of listening. Artistic director of Art&Fact, she initiates concerts combining music, architecture, and materials that invite the public to experience new sound representations (Ecouter Autrement, Centre Pompidou-Metz, 2015). Her works are performed internationally by ensembles such as l’Ensemble 2e2m, l’Itinéraire, Aleph, Accroche Note, Taller Sonoro, and Dedalus, are commissioned by the French Ministry of Culture, Radio France, and Sacem, and are published by Jobert Editions. She is currently an associate researcher at the Lutherie Acoustique Musique laboratory (Pierre and Marie Curie University, CARS). Her encounter with Gilles Deleuze determined her interest in philosophy and from 1974 to 1987 she became one of his interlocutors concerning music. She recently co-edited Gilles Deleuze, la pensée-musique (Cdmc, Symétrie, 2015).
info & contact
Pierre et Marie Curie University, Paris, FR
pcriton [AT] club-internet.fr
Brian Hulse (PhD Harvard) is Associate Professor of Music at the College of William and Mary in Virginia (USA). He has published articles and given talks on a variety of topics, most notably those engaging the work of Gilles Deleuze and Henri Bergson. With Nick Nesbitt he co-edited the volume Sounding the Virtual: Gilles Deleuze and the Theory and Philosophy of Music, in which he provided the chapter “Thinking Musical Difference: Music Theory as Minor Science” (Ashgate, 2010). Forthcoming publications include “Becoming-Composer” (Perspectives of New Music) and “On Repetition and Musical Ideas” (Deleuze Studies). In addition, Hulse is a composer with albums on Centaur Records (Stain, 2015) and Albany Records (pseudosynthesis, 2009).
info & contact
College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, US
bchuls [AT] wm.edu
Martin Scherzinger is Associate Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU Steinhardt. His research specialises in sound studies, music, media, and politics of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with a particular interest in the music of European modernism and after, as well as African music and transnational musical fusions. His research includes the examination of links between political economy and digital sound technologies, the poetics of copyright law in an international frame, the relation between aesthetics and censorship, the sensory limits of mass-mediated music, the mathematical geometries of musical time, and the history of sound in philosophy. This work represents an attempt to understand what we might call contemporary “modalities of listening”; that is, the economic, political, metaphysical, and technological determinants of both mediated and (what is perceived as) immediate auditory experience.
info & contact
New York University Steinhardt, US
mrs11 [AT] nyu.edu
Deborah Walker is a new music performer and improviser based in Paris. She was born in Reggio Emilia, Italy in 1981. She studied cello in her hometown at the Istituto Musicale “A. Peri” and graduated in 2003.
While studying there, she often performed works by young composers both for solo cello and for ensembles. She also played in two theatrical productions working with the composers Tom Johnson (1997) and Alfredo Lacosegliaz (2000). From 2000 to 2004 she was a member of the Caravane de Ville ethnic-rock group and recorded two albums with them, Metropolis (Mescal) and Casbah (CycPromotions).
After graduating she moved to Paris to continue her cello studies with Agnès Vesterman. She also took part in cello master classes with Marianne Chen, Harvey Shapiro and contemporary music master classes with Enzo Porta, Stefano Scodanibbio, Rohan de Saram and Anssi Karttunen.
Deborah Walker has collaborated with artists like Joëlle Leandre, Markus Stockhausen, Garrett List and Teri Weikel. She has played in many festivals such as I Suoni delle Dolomiti, Italia Wave, ZKN in Karlsruhe, Festival d’Avignon, Festival Nomad in M’Hamid (Morocco) and in Rome, Linz, Milan, Barcelona, Cologne, Zurich, Warsaw…
Her current projects are Milly Romani with pop-rock singer Sara Piolanti, Poetica Vivace with the saxophonist François Cotinaud, a duo with the double bass player Charlotte Testu and the string trio Gingko Narayana.
She is a member of Dedalus, a variable ensemble which plays minimalist music and Flowers of Now, an intuitive music project with Vera Fischer, Luca Formentini, Tara Bouman and Markus Stockhausen.
She also takes part in theater, dance and circus performances, both as composer and performer.
Her recordings include works by Tom Johnson played by the Dedalus Ensemble (New World), a live recording of Flowers of Now (21st Records) as well as Frammenti di Scrittura Prematura (Imprint Records) and Imagine Book (ILDE).
info & contact
Cellist, Paris, FR