Swerve for solo violin (2013)

Recording from the premiere at St. Paul's Haul in Huddersfield, UK February 2014:

Ashot Sarkissjan (violin)

When atoms are traveling straight down through empty space by their own weight, at quite indeterminate times and places, they swerve ever so little from their course, just so much that you would call it a change in direction.  If it were not for this swerve, everything would fall down-wards through the abyss of space.  No collision would take place and no impact of atom on atom would be created.  Thus nature would never have created anything. – Lucretius

 In Swerve, the fact that everything occurs in between everything else – its pervasive liminality – leads to a kind of blurriness in the aural result.  It can be said that there are two kinds of blur in the piece: there is the first kind obtained by this operation of “destroying clarity by clarity” (Bazin, 1958, quoted in Deleuze 2002, 9), ); the second is a result of the curved trajectories in the notation denoting constant change in rates of motion into and out of the vertices.  This ‘blur’ in the local level material leads to a kind of aural malerisch[1] effect.  Lines break lines, forces break tones, an acceleration or force smears small detail only to be overcome by some new force moment by moment. 

 

[1] “…stands for that depreciation and gradual obliteration of line (outline and tangible surface) and for the merging of these in a ‘shifting semblance’ of things—it is an attempt to represent the vague and impalpable essence of things.”  (Herbert Read, in his introduction to Wölfflin’s Classic Art, 1952, quoted in Deleuze, 2002, 156).