sur-itinéraire

for ensemble
[fl, oboe, cl (also bass cl) piano, perc (vib, bass drum), vl, vla, vc]
[2008-09] dur. 14′ ca.

In this piece I imagined and described a route, an itinerary. The protagonist of this journey is a sort of “musical character” whom I have called ego.
It presents itself at the beginning of the piece and its musical profile appears unstable, overabundant, but at the same time contemplative – almost stunned. It acts inside a sort of trajectory, musically characterized and recognizable. This trajectory will lead it, throughout the arc of the piece, into three distinct and contrasting places.
I imagined them as formal/musical spaces, autonomous and not relational, functioning as mechanisms: they are spaces which are similar to those which the French anthropologist, Marc Augé, defines as non-places of the sur-modernité (hence the use of the prefix sur in the title of the piece). These spaces don’t interact with the ego but simply hold it and they let it enter into their mechanism and function. They are “places of people without a place” but, at the same time, they are the places of our time, simple in their complexity which cannot be interpreted in only one way.
Inside them, the ego disappears only to resurface again, but every time changed, more aware. The last non-place is that one which, different from all the others, resembles the ego, which, passing through it, will end its journey. After a sort of explosion/implosion, the ego‘s profile will re-emerge, but this time with characteristics of a self; it will be intimate, gathered in and alone.
Musically, I wanted to work mainly on an idea of strong formal and linguistic counterpositions, in the juxtaposition of homorhythm and out of sync, pianissimo, breathy and squared, compact, repetition and difference.
The prefix sur, helps to define just this: an excess, in this case, of contrasts, of identities in the attempt, however, of not creating a mere disjunction but a complex continuity.

« so there will soon be a need – perhaps there is already a need – for something that may seem a contradiction in terms: an ethnology of solitude »
Marc Augé – “Non-lieu / introduction à une anthropologie de la surmodernité”

to watch: youtube

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