I have to write a text about my new piece „1,2,3“

 Dear Mr Eggert,

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Our Communication Department ask for documentation. We need very quickly a short notice on « your new work for big Ensemble » will be played on February 22th 2014.

 Thank you for your quick answer and to send us by return mail.

 Kind regards,

 Caroline de Saint Léon

Direction de la Musique

Bureau de la Création Musicale et de la Musique de Chambre

Dear Caroline,

This is my text for the piece (attached), which is called

1,2,3

For sampler and ensemble.

 I’m nearly finished and the score will be available from roughly December 10 on.

 All the best,

Moritz

 

1,2,3

For sampler and ensemble

By Moritz Eggert

The basic idea for this piece is very simple. The sampler (played by the composer) uses 3 different sounds for the most part of the piece. These sounds are the spoken numbers “1”, “2”, “3”, “1?”, “2?”, “3?”, “1!”, “2!”, and “3!”

“1” switches “melody” on.

“2” switches “harmony” on.

“3” switches “rhythm” on.

“1!” stops melody (or a layer thereof).

“2!” stops harmony (or a layer thereof).

“3!” stops rhythm (or a layer thereof).

This has to be taken quite literally: a melody starts in EXACTLY the moment that “1” is pressed, and it stops EXACTLY the moment when “1!” is pressed (for example).

“?” means a variation of the corresponding parameter, for example an embellishment (melody), a transposition or modulation (harmony) or a change of speed (rhythm).

These simple rules never change throughout the piece. Therefore the sampler becomes an audible catalyst for musical processes that are very similar to the electronic live mixing used by DJ’s, but in a much purer and recognizable form.

We are all used to “switch on” and “switch off” devices in real life. We use the lightswitch, we switch on and off computers, phones, tablets etc. Our world has therefore become digitalized, not only because of our use of binary computers but because our perception of reality has become increasingly rigid in the sense that we constantly encounter a “no” (= 0) and “yes” (=1) state. This also creates an increasingly materialistic way to view reality – things either have a value (they “work”) or they don’t. There is nothing in between. On one hand our life has become more complex, but with this new world view we make it actually much simpler than it was before. Probably too simple.

Music in the past has used techniques like general bass or harmonic sequences to create a superior layer that all the notes have to relate to. This relates to the old belief in a “higher order” which has increasingly vanished in our times. The possibility to switch “on” and “off” nodes inside the system, to create musical sequences where tones are not reacting to a superior layer but to commands inside the piece that form their own layer of meaning (with their hierarchy exposed) is something new and something I would like to explore.

Moritz Eggert, 29.11.2013

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