Monday, January 18, 2016


Fractal they say, disquietingly beautiful for sure


A set of five quartets that are so connected that four of them cannot be played separately, so says the composer. Technically it is for me pure mathematics or physics and not music. Music is a set of sounds, some tempos, a harmony of some kind and it creates emotions. The fractal pattern, model or whatever used by the composer to produce or compose his music is his choice, his technique and I am not listening to it to know how he manages to produce sounds that are not exactly standard string sounds. That is not important for me as a listener.

What is the effect of this music on me and first of all on my psyche? You cannot just listen and enjoy this music because it is composed to be listened to but also not to be plainly enjoyed in quiet restful nonchalance. It is producing in me a constant alert sensation that requires my full attention and every note produces in me a feeling of unbalance that is always prevented from falling by some musical acrobatics. And it is this feeling of nearly always fearing a fall and finding myself suspended by one thread or maybe one rope over a chasm that makes me enjoy it. It is constantly controlled vertigo and free fall contained at the last instant before the fall. It is cliff hanging over an abyss with just one spider thread to keep me from falling. Each interval is a stone that rolls under my feet. Each note is a hole in the board that is slowly dissolving under my feet.

This music is thus very effective on my psyche to make me aware that I am nothing and I might end up flat into a hellish furnace any time now, any time soon, any time that had already happened in the past. I am like floating in-between now and then, then under and now just level with me and no future whatsoever. This impression of a movement that is carrying me in a constant present emotion with no foreseeable future is my main emotion. And that is fractal indeed. These molecular notes are Brownian like hell and they are moving in all directions leaving me disoriented, lost, bombarded from all sides and in all directions.

The main emotion coming from this music is then that the world is nothing that can exist for ever because it is by definition transient, evanescent and changing without any real logic, except the logic of a crowd that can flare up crazy, every single individual running in any direction and banging, bouncing and swinging or swaying in any other direction till they bounce again against another individual. That’s Brownian for sure but that is also illogical, erratic, capricious, whimsical and yet a whimsicality that you cannot control. That impression to be surrounded by menacing sounds and notes that have no malicious intention and yet are endangering you is inebriating.  Don’t ever think you may recline in an armchair and enjoy the melodious music of your heartfelt love and hatred.

And yet that constant endangering and disquieting music creates a world of its own, a universe that is like a wild jungle in which you are lost and you can go around and discover the creeping life under each leaf. That makes you curious and adventurous. That forces you to look around and cope with any kind of wild being that may lurk under the moss. As for me I am fascinated by these twirling, whirling and writhing movements of this maelstrom of a musical experience. I just wonder if at times I am not drunk with it, drunk and dizzy, on the verge of letting everything go and letting myself be engulfed and transported into another nether world of no density, of no stability.

I just wonder when I am confronted to this music if the feeling and emotion I experience is the result of the strangeness, the lack of acquaintanceship, of regular commerce with this music, hence its being strange, unknown, untamed; or maybe it is the objective of this music to make me feel estranged, lost, de-motivated and de-structured. This music sounds like the world in which we live but only when we stop at a crossroads and try to capture every single detail of the traffic, of the people and vehicles going by and even imagine who they are, what they are doing, what their motivations are. Does this modern music aim at turning us into contemplators who try to find some meaning in what appears as totally messy, fuzzy, unmotivated, non-significant.

Are we ready to jump into that world lying beyond our old customary vision and explanation? Are we going to evolve into systematically looking at everything around us with a critical eye and not a pre-conceived and pre-constructed explanation of the whole world the way it is in our books and not the way it is in reality? This music points the finger at the moon of a world that is not following our rules in our books but following its own rules in its own mysterious psyche, as if the world had its own psyche. And yes we may think this world has a psyche of its own, an existence of its own, and that we are a bunch of ants in front of a volcano in full eruption. And like the bad students of the Buddhist master we are looking at the pointer, at the finger pointing at anything at all because we don’t see what it is pointing at. We only see the finger and not the moon.

This music is like a Buddhist meditation, like a Zen levitation. It cannot mean anything to us if we do not let go of our preconceived convictions that everything is logical, can be explained with two bits of logic. This music is the preaching of a Buddha in the middle of a desert, or as for that the parables of a Jesus in the middle of a crowd of deaf, blind and dumb people. Some will say I am ranting and raving. But be sure I am only ranting and raving for those who already know everything or at least believe they do.


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