Música Viva 2022

Sond'Ar-te Electric Ensemble

All endings are sad, all endless things are impossible to bear

for ensemble and electronics

dur. ca. 10'

Commissioned by Sond'Ar-te Electric Ensemble

Premiered November 18, 2022

O'culto da Ajuda, Lisbon

Sond'Ar-te Electric Ensemble

cond. Pedro Neves

»(…) what emerges is the pleasure (always elusive, after all) of “being” in the movement of sound.«

Pedro Boléo, reviewing the piece for Espaço crítica para a nova música

This piece stems from an intel­lec­tu­al fail­ure. The ini­tial impe­tus for the cre­ation of the piece was a pas­sage from the work Ich und Du, in which Mar­tin Buber asserts that the life of human beings does not take place in the sphere of tran­si­tive verbs alone”. Es beste­ht nicht aus Tätigkeit­en allein, die ein Etwas zum Gegen­stand haben” — It does not exist in virtue of activ­i­ties alone which have some thing for their object. The phrase tow­ered above those around it, and the promise of a unique gram­mar encour­aged my pen­chant for parataxis and gen­er­al­ized offense of lin­guis­ti­cal­ly-inspired musi­cal syn­tax (to say noth­ing of the Niet­zschean impe­tus to remake the gram­mar that pre­vents us from con­ceiv­ing new and rad­i­cal rela­tion­ships with the world, which also sup­ports Buber’s project).

But the exam­ples that Buber offers only seem to define this sphere of tran­si­tive verbs”. Ich nehme etwas wahr. Ich empfinde etwas. Ich stelle etwas vor. Ich will etwas. Ich füh­le etwas. Ich denke etwas”. Of that new promised gram­mar, nothing.

I let, then, anoth­er book inform my work: Poet­ic Clo­sure: A Study of How Poems End”. Bar­bara Her­rn­stein Smith deep­ened, with answers from the field of poet­ry, my under­stand­ing of the dri­ving ques­tions of the piece. It then became one about what makes music end — about what makes any­thing end — and how to recov­er eros from sta­sis; about cadences, inter­rup­tions, con­nec­tions and endings.

The piece is ded­i­cat­ed to Philipp Henkel, brother-in-arms.