Variables, Diagrams, Process

Pascale Criton, Deborah Walker


The characteristic of a musical time-space, whether sound is the result of material sources or generated by machines, is to give consistency to previously unheard sound individuations—without identity (Deleuze 2003). To this end, mapping and spatial-temporal diagrams determine the variables’ changes and the modelling of dynamic events—following either a gestural or techno-generated process. Far from excluding each other, the complementary poles of the continuous and discontinuous are in constant exchange while becoming fields, varying their dimensions and distributions, renewing the composition of their relations in variable, gradual, and imperceptible transformations, speeds, and density changes (Criton 2015).

Transitivity, more than stable continuities, retains our interest here, setting contiguity of different sizes (smooth/striated), indiscernible areas, and dazzling couplings that allow linear, exclusive, or restrictive models to be abandoned and be moved from one category or “middle” to another (Criton 2011).

The presentation will outline a few transitive situations—sensory, gestural, spatial continuities. Through Chaoscaccia for cello (2013) and Circle Process for violin (2012), the presentation will focus on performance and gestural processes, pushing the dramaturgy of gesture to its event size, in order to grasp its driving idea and to identify its principle, both processually and extensively. What will enable affects to gain speed and direction, and introduce dynamic, intensive, and extensive associations? Through Plis (2008) and Ecoutes croisées (2014), the possibilities of ubiquitous (Criton 2012) and multimodal listening (Criton 2014) will be discussed.

Chaoscaccia (Criton and Walker 2013) follows a gesture process to explore a scordatura in 1/16th tone on the cello. The route is determined by a gesture map and consists of five steps: (1) rebounds, (2) parlando, (3) multiphonies, (4) mutando, and (5) disappearing. The basic principle is concerned with instability and sudden changes (shift process) between different states. Each state proceeds in an unstable mode and emerges without a forced beginning or ending. The duration of the cycle is open and it can be played in a concise or extensive manner. The cello is sonorised with two microphones (on foot), which can be directional or cardioid (type Neumann 184). 


Criton, Pascale. 2011. “Nothing is Established Forever.” In The Guattari Effect, edited by Éric Alliez and Andrew Goffey, 235–50. London: Continuum.

—. 2012. “O ouvido ubiquista: Escutar diferentemente.” In Cadernos de subjetividade, edited by Peter Pál Pelbart. São Paulo, Brazil: University Catholic Pontificale of São Paulo.

—. 2014. “Listening Otherwise: Playing with Sound Vibrations.” In ICMC Proceedings 2014. Accessed 12 October 2015.;idno=bbp2372.2014.275.

—. 2015. “L’hétérogénèse sonore.” In Gilles Deleuze: La pensée-musique, edited by Pascale Criton and Jean-Marc Chouvel. Paris: CDMC, Symétrie.

Criton, Pascale, and Deborah Walker. 2013. Chaoscaccia for cello tuned in 1/16th tone (duration circa 20 min.). 

Deleuze, Gilles. 2003. “‘Rendre audibles des forces non-audibles par elles-mêmes.’ Le temps musical, Ircam 1978.” In Deux régimes de fous. Textes et entretiens, 1975–1995, edited by David Lapoujade. Paris: Editions de Minuit.


about the author(s)

Pascale Criton

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]


Deborah Walker

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