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„Le miroir qui revient qui revient“ is a piece of radio art I composed and produced for Deutschlandradio Kultur in collaboration with Michael Wertmüller (drums) and Elektroakustisches Studio, Akademie der Künste. It is going to be broadcasted on August 17th at 00:05 a.m. The piece takes 50 minutes and 18 secounds. Below you will find two extracts and parts of the concept.
„ […] toute réalité est indescriptible, et je le sais d’instinct : la conscience est structurée comme notre langage (et pour cause!), mais ni le monde ni l’inconscient; avec des mots et des phrases, je ne peux représenter ni ce que j’ai devant les yeux, ni ce qui se cache dans ma tête, ou dans mon sexe.“ Alain Robbe-Grillet: Le miroir qui revient
Le miroir qui revient
With „Le miroir qui revient“ Robbe-Grillet opens the genre of autobiography, he exposes memory as construction whose emphasis – compared to the memorized event or situation – shifts dreamlike. Fragments of memory differ in acuity, speculation and fiction breaks through. Attitude is reflected, Robbe-Grillet’s and the one of some close ones and some remote ones, in his familiy and in literature.
In „Le miroir qui revient“ the variations that have led to a kind of serial arrangements of scenes in Robbe-Grillet’s earlier work occur as variations of breaks. The broken material is like stranded goods fished out of the sea of percieved situations and aspects, only its combination reveals the subtext.
Le miroir qui revient qui revient
I suggest a composition of original tone and music that mirrors Robbe-Grillet’s composition of text layers and perspectives and that understands itself as a complement to the text. The text does not occur as language in the piece but as form and in forms and as a grid of links and breaks.
Can there be a similar relation between music and original tone like there is between fiction and perception? Can music reveal additional aspects of the ghosts Robbe-Grillet places in and around the Atlantic? Do that for the musicians have to dig in their own (musical) chasms?
Procedure, material, staff
A formal analysis of the text concerning its layers, their diffusion and the spread of the breaks is done. The record of these relations will provide the architecture for the musical and tonal score. Field recordings are done in the Bretagne and in the Jura – one rough main scene and one mossy and undulating side scene in the bio-/mythography. Both are border regions, once between solid and fluid and once between two countries (RG mentions a hotel that exactly is built on the frontier and where he spent some holidays when he was a child).
I will look for voices of the sea, voices of the landscape and voices of people who have a certain relatedness with locations and motifs appearing in the text. Some of those recordings will already be manipulated musically.
The original tone will be arranged according to the formal matrix of the text. Based on this arrangement as well as on RG’s motifs that have been translated into acoustics I will write instructions for drums and saxophone. Thereby the main focus remains on a versatile and permeable boundary between original tone and music: How and where can arise music from the field recordings? How must the algorithms for recording, improvising and playing be designed in order to vary the relation between music and original tone? Can music simulate the original tone?
Until this point I will be in charge of all work. Michael Wertmüller joins me and we record drums and saxophone in the electroacoustic studio of the Akademie der Künste. Michael plays the drums and I play the saxophone.
I have written a couple of beats and variation stuff for a secound recording session with Michael Wertmüller. We are in my little studio for two days. I manipulate the drums while WM is playing, I play just few saxophone. Some edits with material of this very session can be heard here.
This session initiates a radio play after a text of Alain Robbe-Grillet. I will come back to this project later. Michael Wertmüller plays the drums, we record at the electroacoustic studio of the Akademie der Künste, Berlin.
Here you find an extract of the session.
„La liberté de l’écrivain (c’est-à-dire celle de l’homme) ne réside que dans l’infinie comlexité des combinaisons possibles. La nature n’a-t-elle pas construit tous les systèmes vivants, depuis l’amibe jusqu’au cerveau humain, avec seulement huit acides aminés et quatre nucléotides, toujours les mêmes?“
Extrait de le miroir qui revient, Alain Robbe-Grillet, 1985, Editions de Minuit.