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Thomas STIEGLER, Peter Ablinger

Anfangen (:Aufhoren)

Label: Edition Wandelweiser

Format: CD

Genre: Experimental

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One main focus of Peter Ablingers music is on the features of human perception. In his words, "human beings are creatures that think of simultaneous things as things happening one after another. This separation of simultaneity to consecutiveness is  mental thought… Listening is the perceptive function most likely to be capable of simultaneity." But the composer is not interested in the linguistic character of music which emerges on the background of syntactic and structural principles. The alternative aesthetic concept of Peter Ablinger is the attempt to deal with the linguistic character of music in a paradoxical way. The central basis is somewhat like "a change of the forms of existence of music". Intuition itself becomes an object which can lead away from selective intuition to a non-linear perception. Some of Ablingers pieces have a conceptual approach, making it possible for the listener to recognize this change of perspective. The music is not created in a purely conventional form written on staff paper. It focuses in particular on one idea, one concept, which already, as an experimental arrangement, includes so much mental movement, that the idea itself represents the main part, if not the entire piece. Peter Ablinger dislikes the term "conceptual art". In his mind it is always used so that one does not have to recognize something else. But possibly the charm arises from the non-representative sobriety by succeeding in capturing a special moment with scarce tools. The piece Amtssee bei Regen was written "with the intention to create something very simple. Unambitious. No special idea, maybe Chinese / Japanese: writing a note on the staff paper while listening to nature (to the rain)" (Ablinger). It contains 24 short sequences for  a varying number of parts from 3 to 8 (1 to 8 instruments). The peculiarity lies in the constellation of the parts, which play in each sequence only one characteristic scale of ascending or descending single notes. The combination of these simple scales, which vary in range, length, and step size, leads to complex temporal proportions, which would not be able to be formed with traditional compositional means. Like the unpredictable yet constant rain of the Amtssee, they form "natural" movement patterns by use of different tempi, ranges and behaviours.

Whereas in the latter case the non-intentionality was the agenda, ANFANGEN (:AUFHÖREN) is about the very principal of intentionality, although in its paradox form. The entire piece is formed out of a repetition of one forced first sound, more precisely of the initial act. Even though it is a part of a series of one-tone-compositions, ANFANGEN (:AUFHÖREN) is not a piece on one note but on a status. It refers to the moment of the opening which requires a special attitude from the interpreter, in order to set a precise accent at the point which generates the power for the entire piece. It is, however, not the following piece that matters but this particular psychic, physic, and articulatory act of the beginning. It is the twenty minute  repetition of an initiation. Insofar ANFANGEN (:AUFHÖREN) is a practice, an exercise that tries to separate our points of view and conventions in experiencing art from a targeted perception. "It is the movement out of the linear time into the space of presence" (Peter Ablinger).


Cat. number: ewr 1309
Year: 2015

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