STAUDE CHRISTOPH - Morpheus
Commanditaire : Radio Allemande du Sud-ouest , Baden-baden.
Effectif détaillé :
Durée : 17’15
Les percussions de Strasbourg – Festival de Musique Donaueschingen 1990.
commanded by Radio Allemande du Sud-ouest , Baden-baden.
Morpheus, brother of Hypnos, who is able to change into various Forms.
The theme of the piece is the sounding out, the exploration of the course of the music; without rules and systems; an écriture automatique sonore, but this does not mean a striding ahead on the basis of associations (that would be a dream logic), rather, the piece sketches a formal dramaturgy in active imagination. Thus it is more than a dream, it is the state of phantasma which is being aimed for.
Short observation of some technical details
1. In order to counteract the emergence of rigid integral emphases and metres, I worked with so-called irrational rhythms, i.e. within one voice a rhythmical quantum leap takes place. The bar originating in this way could be described as a six-eight bar minus a quintuplet quave.
Since sections of more or less fluctuating rhythms and impulses – which can range from the simplest impulses of the crotchets of a 4/4 bar right up to the most complex inextricable rythmic textures – can formally be connected with one another, the aesthetic advantage of such arrangements consists in encouraging the construction of form.
2. About the eighth minute of the piece, after a phase of extreme dynamic diminution, when sound dares to emerge again from stillness and rests, a figure appears presented at first by the glockenspiel and then cow-bells which in the following large-scale bar runs at five different speeds simultaneously. For the process of listening the same result is reached by means of the proportions of the various tempi as was aimed for previously with the irrational rhythms: tactics of rhythmic confusion, a blurred arrangement of structures : – it is not, however, necessary to comprehend them as such, or only as such, but rather to be aware of their morphogenetical capabilities on the basis of specific characteristics.
3. The whole piece is searching for its form, which, however, is not established until the last figure of all has made its contribution: i.e. when the last note has died away.
Morpheus is thus to be interpreted also as the generating of form. The last manifestation of form casts its shadow once more over the whole piece, just as all manifestations of form or sections do in the course of the music.
Only the initial ignition appears like material suddenly displaced from its home in the sun which therefore explodes. In fact the piece does not begin at the beginning at all, but later, when the small drum enters pianissimo. What happens before that is an anticipation of what happens in the ninth minute and functions like a target, a signpost or motto, even though the « opening » material is not arrived at any more in the course of the piece.
Remarks on listening
1. On the imaginary stage the metaphors remain within. I imagine –without image- choreography in notes, a plot in music: the music it is own plot.
When that which is moved becomes abstract, what remains? – the movement. (Barthes: « I listen to the rousing element of the message, not to the message itself ».)
Sound transports energy, to which we expose our-selves. To expose oneself to that which is moving is to compose (afterward: to listen).
I make a plea for tachisme in music: since musical tension is today created by means of hectic activity.
I make a plea for extreme cautiousness in music: since musical tension today emerges from the stillness of the grave.