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Monday, 14 May 2012

David Papapostolou | Quartets




















Whilst thinking about the place I was at when I worked on these pieces, it struck me that I had completely forgotten about one side of the train of thought; let's call it the B side. Nevertheless that side seemed to have permeated the other (the C side) to such an extent that the two now seem inextricably linked.

Like many of the musicians I know, I seem to be equally fascinated by these two composers: Bach and Cage. Both were undeniably dedicated to and rigorous about musical experimentation and in doing so these two nevertheless showed a lot of playfulness as well. 

One story that stayed with me about Bach was the way he played around with all the possible permutations he could come up with to write counterpoints, that is the way the different voices interact together laterally as it were: "copying and pasting" lines, reversing, palindromes, mirror images,...

Obviously, while experimenting with these figures Bach kept a masterful harmonic control on his material while Cage would, two hundred and fifty years later, run in the opposite direction: drop harmonies and control all together. Cage's music based on chance opened new avenues to engage with the musical material: the constructive accident, the sound event that just happens to be there without any intention from the composer; at least not directly - the accident is intentional, not the result.

This is where I started: how could I, using the most simple material (sine waves and white noise) create diversity, based on accident and chance? Part of the answer was: work fast and don’t look back!

Composed and assembled in June 2010, London.


Quartets  .aiff

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