TABOO - TRANSGRESSION - TRANSCENDENCE
in Art & Science
26-28 November 2020, University of Applied Arts Vienna/Online
Retrospectively, I now view ‘Passeggiata, a piece of visual music that I completed in November 2019, as being a paradigm for the times in which we live. We find ourselves caught up in a complex metabolic whirlpool where systems of free-living equilibrium have collapsed to a radically disordered state. Viruses like Covid-19 are not free-living entities; they are parasites which invade and inflict harm on life as we know it. Maybe, such transgressions are the inevitable consequence of life on the edge of chaos where, as systems of self-regulation break down, we must suffer the destructive impact of parasitic invasion and similar intrusions? I can only say that such thoughts were not in the back of my mind when I created ‘Passeggiata’, which is based on Luciano Berio’s Sequenza IXa for solo clarinet. But on reflection, and although there is no comparison with Covid-19 in terms of scale or impact, the piece does appear to represent a composer striving to present music as a continual compromise between order and chaos. It’s by holding up a mirror to Sequenza IXa that my visual interpretation provides glimpses of an ordered system not only on the brink but, also, on occasions, running out of control.