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Einar Torfi Einarsson - text



The Score as a Map

In Desiring-Machines the score can be said to depart from conventional scores in the sense that it no longer represents in any way an accurate description of moments. In fact it does not represent moments but movements. It is an active score, a continuous multiplicity event. It has discarded any fixity structure. Consequently, it does not serve the conventional purpose for the conductor and in fact the score, in a way, becomes unnecessary (for conventional consideration) since even the conductor has her/his own part. Furthermore, the linearity of the score per se has been extracted. Therefore, the score becomes not a chronological indicator of events but instead a nonlinear map/diagram[1] capable of seizing and shaping any material/content that comes its way, a machine, a dynamic system or function. Thus, I have imported qualities and properties of the structure of nonlinearity onto the score as such. In this respect, it also becomes important that the whole score be presented as a single schematic image/diagram, as a single page, increasing in size when necessary rather than in amounts of pages. This is because a second page would, graphically and conceptually, imply linearity, and therefore break the nonlinearity (and the specific continuity implied). I endeavour therefore to thoroughly engage nonlinearity and non-fixity both graphically, conceptually as well as actually (sonically). The score's alignment of parts is therefore centred instead of the conventional left-justified layout, which would imply a fixed beginning point and a left to right order of events. This also emphasizes the fact that performers can start anywhere within their material (as well as the elimination of moments). This disposition puts considerable restraints on the notational activity as I have to fit all my material within the score's dimensions, but this approach affects the materials also in other ways.

When considering notation I like to think the initial notational act to be that of notating fluctuating structures. But 'fluctuating' does not quite capture what is going on. In fact we have to rethink the term 'structure' fundamentally, since structure implies fixity (and conventionally, linearity). When infusing non-identity (non-fixity) on a structural level I not only aim to liquefy or destroy fixity but intend to capture a dynamically active structure – active in itself – a certain multidimensional heterogeneous continuity (continuous multiplicity), an interweaving, twisting and folding activity, where they all continuously “ dovetail into one another”.[2] That is the 'structure' that I grant a prioritized aesthetic value. Moreover, this 'structure' relates to the strange/chaotic attractors encountered in Non-vanishing vacuum state (another story), only here I believe to have managed to more elaborately and more thoroughly engage their properties (Figure 3.12). This strange/chaotic attractor is engaged on an infrastructural level (the unstable infrastructure), which inevitably establishes a contingent relationship with horizontal and vertical structures (as well as any fixed sound moments/locations). In other words the piece performs non-identity; its sonic image is non-fixed.


 Thus, when activated (performance instance), this 'structure' dominates everything, it takes over. In that sense I assert that Desiring-Machines is a structurally-based composition (and conceptually-based). However, it should be noted that my choice of material/content takes this contingent fact into account, meaning that each detail, or each notated action/sound, within each part is considered as being possibly at all tempi and in all combinations with all other details of other parts. This fundamentally transforms the composing act. The chief point here is that I am not involved in any (fixed) horizontal or vertical organisation, or specific configurations of sounds/events, and therefore the composing/notating act becomes that of composing a 'structure' that is indifferent to verticality and horizontality in their conventional meaning.

[1] A map does not presuppose any directionality: any direction is possible.

[2] Bergson (1992), Introduction to Metaphysics