Grammars of Crisis
for soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, printed T-shirts, video and electronics
Within a grammar of crisis, everything remains rendered preliminary along accumulative dynamics. A seemingly endless and always accelerating loop, fueled by an economic logic, that internalized the forces of its own disintegration. Locked in a state of ongoing transition. Transitioning towards the next transition and the next transition and the next one. A wagnerian modulation. A community in permanent rehearsal, abolishing its concerts in their indefinite postponement. Failure drives us towards repetition. One abstraction after another, one score after another accumulates in a boundless corpus of works. A body, that is a repertoire of terminated, but still not yet finished, nor even finishable things.
Grammars of Crisis is a work that reflects on the interplay of preliminarity, accumulation and system-inherent crisis both in a performative setting as a mean to create music and as part of a sociopolitical context. It consists of two parts. Both are intertwined with a text (the one above), either spoken, printed on T-shirts or projected, that is loosely based on Karl Marx’s law of the tendency of the rate of profit to fall.
For the first one, I composed a workout routine following musical criteria. The two performers are instructed to repeat this routine over and over again until they are absolutely unable to go on. During this process, gradually more and more gasping, imprecisions of rhythm and movement and breaks occur. The initially clear sonic and rhythmic identity of the workout is thus varied through the performers growing exhaustion, modulated by the inability of their bodies to accurately reproduce and accumulate the routine over a longer period of time. This is recorded and serves as material for the development of the first parts score, consisting mainly of transcriptions of this process, accompanied by the original recording.
In the second part, the two performers prepare their instruments for about ten minutes, using a variety of different materials while being heavily amplified. The usually short and preparative situation of altering an instruments body before a starting an actual piece is stretched to an extreme. Furthermore, an actual piece afterwards never happens, the instruments constructed are never being played on. Herein, I was interested in composing a situation, where every action and every sound is constantly marked as preliminary, as a shadow or indication of something yet to come.
Grammars of Crisis has been written with and for duo eventuell.