Topography of the (One)

Stefan Östersjö

conference: DARE 2017: aberrant nuptials
date: November 21, 2017
venue: De Bijloke, Concert Hall
format: performed
practice: music and sound
keywords: guitar

abstract about the author(s)


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

about the author(s)

Stefan Östersjö

Stefan Östersjö is a classical guitarist specialising in the performance of contemporary music. Since his debut CD (Swedish Grammy in 1997) he has released twenty CDs and toured Europe, the United States, and Asia. He has undertaken numerous collaborations with composers, and has been involved in the creation of works involving choreography, film, video, performance art, and music theatre. Since 2006 he has been developing inter-cultural artistic practices with the Vietnamese/Swedish group the Six Tones as a platform. As a soloist he has cooperated with conductors such as Lothar Zagrosek, Peter Eötvös, Pierre André Valade, Mario Venzago, and Andrew Manze.

info & contact


Orpheus Institute, Ghent, BE and Malmö Academy of Music, SE


stefan.ostersjo [AT]