Sounds of silence. Sounds of turmoil

How to escape chaos and find orientation?
A not-so-serious meandering through composition systems of music and more.


 Kristine Schnappenburg

Composing with rain and swarms

The composer and architect Iannis Xenakis started with the composition of mathematical or acoustic regularities. He composed according to the principle of accidental orders such as those found in rain or swarms. He wrote down his compositions first as spatial drawings, before transferring them into a notation system. His drawings were then also used by himself for architectural drafts. 

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Drawing for “Terretektorh” (Xenakis, 1965)

Composing with dots

In ancient history, seafarers associated images with the chaotic arrangement of the stars, to create maps for orientation for far-away coastal routes. They connected points in the sky with imaginary lines and transferred them as drawings onto paper. They created their first maps to find their way back to distant places.  
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Inversed perspective. Garbage recycling plants of three cities (Bejing, Marseille, Berlin), seen as dots from space, scraped together and turned into a galaxy of its own. 

Composing with clusters of chaos in a space

Inversing the perspective by looking from space to earth, assuming that the universe looks at the Earth, just as we look at the universe and following the idea of the seafarers, one sees innumerable particles scurrying about, shining, and then extinguished, like stars. Just as we see stars.
Looking from the ceiling of an apartment of a friend, one sees innumerable spots of chaos.
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Connecting those clusters of chaos by lines, and reprojecting that geometrical composition to the ceiling above the chaos of that same flat, it shows a perfect contrast to chaos and turmoil.

A reflection of the image escaping to the nightsky.

Composing with ordinary objects and situations

In Sweden 6 drummers break into places – banks, hospitals, private apartments, to use objects of those spaces for making music.  
They explore undetected sounds of objects and situations, creating parallel realities.
In this link they break into some old people’s apartment to make music with their daily life objects. 

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Composing with particles

“If architecture is frozen music, is music liquid architecture?” * (Frank Gehry)
In 1803 F.W.J. Schelling had characterized in his “Philosophy of Art” architecture as frozen music.
For him a beautiful building is nothing more than music perceived by the eye; music is a not in time but in the sequence of spaces (simultaneous) concert of harmonies and harmonic combinations.d6 k particle wall small

Particles from a hole in the kitchen wall reprojected onto the hole.
Particle music (?)

*The quote is used in this month’s newsletter of “Unerhörte Musik”, which is the only ongoing weekly event of contemporary music in Germany, for over 20 years now, run by the two composers Rainer Rubbert and Martin Daske. (every Tuesday, BKA-Theater, Mehringdamm 34, 10961 Berlin)