Monday, October 29, 2012

Antoine Beuger

Calme étendue (spinoza) (2001)
"Dear Antoine Beuger ­- Everyone thinks and writes as he lives. Thinking is not separate from life. One
can only live more or live less. No one can hide this very long from himself or from others. Time and
again he will notice whether or not he is really in line with what he does and does not do.
No philosopher has put forward this position more consistently than Baruch de Spinoza. Cheerfulness
knows no excess. Therefore it is always good. Melancholy, on the other hand, is always bad. He wrote
the Ethics using the geometrical method, to demonstrate that and how the melancholy passions might
be overcome. This method may be criticized. For Spinoza it was the appropriate form for his thought.
But then he expressed the same thing a second time in the form of remarks, in the Scholia. Reality and
perfection are one and the same. I can obtain no greater reality than when I devote my life completely to
what I am doing and what I am not doing. So perfection is not an old style moralist concept. Life and
the ideal constitute a single level, a plane of immanence. Therefore bliss is not just a promise of life
after death, it is rather life itself. Bliss is not the reward for virtue, it is virtue itself.
Is it possible for one to value life more highly than this mystic amongst philosophers? It is undisputed
that we rarely obtain this perfect reality. Art, however, is a singular testament to such immanence. For a
long  time music  consisted  in   being   a  celebration   of  tone.  But  silence  also  realizes  this  plane  of
immanence, and to no lesser extent. Dear Antoine, your monosyllabic Spinoza actually contains the
whole Spinoza. Each sound and each silence draw the listener into this immanence. Or casts him out of
listening. Your Spinoza composition separates minds. For me, it is this celebration of immanence.
In gratitude and friendship ­ Yours, Paul Good"
"In   my   attempt   to   approach   Spinoza's  Ethics  musically,   my   first   step   was   to   copy   out   all   the
monosyllabic words of this book in the order of their appearance: a total of about 40,000 words.
This method gave me the opportunity to read the text very attentively and carefully from beginning to
end, and, without intending to understand each of its details, to experience its force, the plurality of
'streams' at work in it, and the clear and life­affirming attitude it conveys.
In performing calme étendue (spinoza), the words are spoken in a very relaxed tempo (one word every
8 seconds) and with a very quiet voice. The performer should not ­ through emphasis or intonation ­ try
and suggest a specific sense to the individual words or groups of words.
Spoken  sections alternate with  sections  of  silence.  In these  silent  sections, the  performer just  sits
quietly, doing nothing: calm concentration.
A complete performance of calme étendue (spinoza) lasts about 180 hours.
In August, 1997, I had the opportunity to carry out a complete performance of the work at the Museum
Schloss Morsbroich, Leverkusen: 26 consecutive days, 6 to 10 hours daily, according to the opening
hours of the museum.
The version on this CD has a duration of about 70 minutes and begins with a nine minute silence.
calme étendue (spinoza) is dedicated to Paul Good, philosopher and friend, who opened Spinoza for
The recording begins with 9 minutes of silence.

Silent Harmonies in Discrete Continuity (Fifth Music for Marcia Hafif), Series I (2004)
Field recordings made in greater Los Angeles from December, 2004 to August, 2006. 
Each recording is an unedited ten­minute take from a single location.
Sine tones and mixing completed in Michael Pisaro's home studio in Santa Clarita, California. 
Each ten­minute piece is followed by two minutes of silence.
Recordings were mastered with home stereo playback in mind.
In general, it is best to set the volume control on your system to a normal level (that is, the level 
at which most of your other music is played) and to let it remain in that position. 
Volume levels of the pieces vary intentionally over the course of the series.

A Young Person's Guide to Antoine Beuger (2008)
small vertical poem cards approximately 36cm long x 6cm wide that may be decorated with colored designs, sprinkled with cut gold, silver or mica or covered with silk.
the origins of this form may be connected to small slips of paper used for divining in ancient times.
another possible origin of tanzaku comes from the heian period, when small rectangular pieces of paper, on which one poem was written, were used for poetry anthologies.
the earliest extant examples from the 14c are of waka poems on tanzaku white with no decoration.
it was during the muromachi period that tanzaku became highly decorated with cloud patterns overlaid with cut pieces of gold and silver.
some sounds, just seconds -
as the clouds are passing by
and time continues

Two . Too (For Erwin-Josef Speckmann) (2009)

Duos (with Jürg Frey) (2009)
dedekind duos (2003) 
Julius Wilhelm Richard Dedekind (1831­1916): Mathematician. He developed the idea of cutting into
the continuum in order to define the irrational numbers and to comprehend the essence of continuity
(Stetigkeit und lrrationale Zahlen, 1872). He was also the first to formulate a clear definition of infinite
sets (Was sind und was sollen die Zahlen?, 1887). By taking the infinite set as the fundamental concept,
from which the concept of a finite set is to be derived, he very calmly, with clarity and precision,
carried out a Copernican revolution in thinking about the world. He thus gave strong support to his
friend Georg Cantor's project of a mathematical description of the world in terms of pure multiplicity
(set theory). Dedekind had a lasting influence on both the substance and the style of modern

Keine fernen mehr (2010)

again the larkspur
heavenly blue in my garden
they, at least unchanged
(amy lowell)

das blaue gluehen
des rittersporn - nur asche
im ersten daemmern
(Imma von Bodmershof)


Un lieu pour être deux (2011)

s'approcher s'éloigner s'absenter (2012)

Listen to performances of other Antoine Beuger compositions here.