The Alphabet of the Ars Brevis - Agata Zubel International Festival of Contemporary Music Warsaw Autumn

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It is incredible how science makes civilisation discover increasingly small elementary particles. Just as exciting are reflections on what can happen in this context with art. As children, we knew letters were building blocks in the construction of an increasing number of words and meanings essential to communication and expression. Interestingly, as we age, we understand more and more non-verbal messages, are ready to find alphabets for abstracts and abstracts for alphabets; for instance, music knows stories of mature conductors phenomenally interpreting the greatest woks using communication based almost exclusively on an alphabet of (apparent!) stillness. Thus it seems that especially in art, in music it is not just an entire sentence, not just a word, not even a gesture, NOT EVEN A LETTER, but the contexts of various smaller elementary particles—even those that are abstract or yet to be discovered by the performer—that could be the content proper. Thus if the alphabet were a framework, a macroform, and not, like in the past, a set of structural elements, we might try to look for music inside it, and not just music built of it. Not music for meanings, for asking questions about the meanings of the words used in the score. Rather, a search for microelements revolving around words like the matter dust, the state of dispersion has a greater potential than the aggregated (and hence limited) forms of literality. 

Agata Zubel