Hommage à Thomas Pynchon


This piece is ensemble music, music theater as well as a music-installation. I would like to illustrate my concept by explaining the performance order and structure of the Hommage à Thomas Pynchon. At the beginning the live ensemble piece The Tristero-System is played as if this were a conventional concert situation. During this piece the electronics begin to interact with the ensemble (recording, sound-processing etc.) and to develop independently so that by the end the ensemble piece comes to no conclusion. The electronics continue, creating the impression that the piece continues although the players have ceased to play and have left the stage. The electronics continue using various materials: - the prerecorded ensemble material - parts from the tape for W.A.S.T.E. - the recorded cello solo - the entire ensemble piece The electronics consist of a large number of computer-controlled sound-machines. A kind of electronic "écriture automatique" continues the piece in a complex and kaleidoscopic way. After a while - the players have left the stage - the cello soloist appears and tries, by playing the piece The Courier's Tragedy (prologue, five acts and epilogue), to control the electronics, even to destroy them. He fails: he is able to manipulate the sound-design, but in the last instance he himself will be destroyed by the electronics. After reaching a state of exhaustion, the player leaves the stage. The electronic music has reached the maximum of insufferability. During the second hour the effects of the cello piece will entirely disappear. Therefore what remains is nothing more than a (very violent) music-installation, theoretically having no end (more pragmatically, this installation will end when the last listener leaves the building). During this second hour the listeners will leave the concert hall believing that the event is over. In the foyer they perceive that the entire house (the theater) is filled with music coming from numerous loudspeakers, similar to that in the concert hall but with deconstructive effects of territorialization and deterritorialization. They are therefore urged to explore the total area or to leave it when they want. It is necessary that the listener/visitor has no way to reenter the building through the normal entrances and exits. When, after having decided to leave the event, he enters the last anteroom and hears the tape piece D.E.A.T.H. (also being repeated endlessly) which will be an unexpected surprise. Here, too, he will have to decide how long he wants to remain. For those who intend to come back, it will be possible to use a back door - the parcours can then begin again.

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