Voices and Piano - Peter Ablinger Międzynarodowy Festiwal Muzyki Współczesnej Warszawska Jesień

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no. 3 Lech Wałęsa, no. 5 Hanna Schygulla, no. 17 Ezra Pound, no. 19 Pier Paolo Pasolini

Information is redundancy: Tautology – according to Wittgenstein – tells nothing about the world and does not hold any relation to the world. I hold the opinion, however, that tautology is the basic principle of language, or the basic principle of the relation between language and world. Every description, explanation, analysis, definition is doubling, repetition, redundancy in exactly the same way tautology is all that. Something similar holds true for information: information is not what stands out of redundancy. Rather, information is not even possible without redundancy. The concept of redundancy is related to the concept of a “frame”: repeating something means grasping it more intensely, xing it, cutting it, framing it. This, too, holds true for “meaning”: meaning and doubling or emphasising are almost synonymous, in any case. 


Voices and Piano, originally written for Nicolas Hodges, is an extensive cycle of pieces, each for a single recorded voice, mostly of a well-known celebrity, and piano. The cycle is still in progress and should eventually include about 80 pieces / voices (around four hours of music). The work is always meant to occur as a selection from the whole. At present I like to write works where the whole should not be presented at once. I like to think about Voices and Piano as my song-cycle, though nobody is singing in it: the voices are all spoken statements from speeches, interviews or readings. And the piano is not really accompanying the voices: the relation between the two is rather one of a competition or comparison. Speech and music get compared. We can also say: reality and perception. Reality / speech is continuous; perception / music is a grid which tries to approach the former. Actually, the piano part is the temporal and spectral scan of the respective voice, something like a coarse gridded photograph. Actually, the piano part is the analysis of the voice. Music analyses reality. 

Peter Ablinger