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 Paolo Ferrari e Vittorio Zago


Introductory note to

further in-becoming
for two pianos (two pianos in-Doubling), percussions cum scaena




Further in-becoming is a musical composition constructed (and deconstructed) according to the rules of a (a**)complex system in several layers, several directions and several foci; it is a (complex) unity fluctuating in time (and space), open to further levels of interaction and of musical and theoretical interpretation [it has a particular interactive (and interpretative) relationship with those playing it, thinking of it (and listening to it)].


The title's peculiarity of construction and meaning closely corresponds to the qualities of the composition.

a.     The term becoming indicates a condition of non-fixity. It involves the passage from one condition to another; mutation, transformation, evolution It is a condition developing within a time dimension: a constant flow from being and not-being.

b.    As regards the wording of the above title in parallel with the construction modality and the interpretation mode of the musical piece here are some further remarks. The preposition-particle of state in has been put before the term becoming=mutation. This particle is connected to the name by means of a hyphen joining them - and at the same time marking an existing disjunction. This operation of union-disjunction of terms usually not connected to one another is a particular procedure, often used by us, which can be traced, for example, in the work by Celan - a poet of Romenian origin, author of several poetry collections - and namely in his Zwanglicht and Von Schwelle zu Schwelle.

The presence of a hyphen between in and becoming, terms which are usually not interconnected in this way, is meant to highlight the particular association between two entities so as to constitute a premise to let a new significant entity come into being in a different relational stage.

The mutation expressed by the word becoming takes now a further meaning. Not only does it convey the sense of a state in progress according to the unidirectionality of the arrow of time; a more complex and abstract (time-space) direction towards alterity (further in-becoming) finds here further expression through the hyphen of the adverbial particle of state and the verb (noun) pertaining to the transformation.

c.     This denotes the emergence of a different degree of becoming, a further becoming=becoming: within difference=to differ within mutation. The temporal dimension thus conveyed by the term becoming, to which the adverbial preposition of state in - in union and separation - has been joined —so as to produce a transmutation (in-alterity) — takes a different connotation, one going beyond (still further), if compared to the plain linearity of just one direction: it becomes a condition of a complex kind pertaining to a system further in-becoming, which is ready to change into a-system, or in(-)asystem.

d.         Further in-becoming is then a condition which is equivalent to a complex asystem having several directions, several foci and whose time parameter is enriched by new components fit for giving a contribution to construct and de-construct (materialize and de-materialize) the very (a-)systemic context to which it belongs.

e.     The musical monads constituting the piece — and which in their reciprocal interaction constitute the oscillatory, irregular (non-fixed=asymmetric) unitarity of the piece, with several foci, with several directions — are not, since they belong to a complex asystem, exhaustible within the layers of compulsive evidence, the immediate correspondence pertaining to Homo sapiens' sensory-perceptive apparatus: parallel and virtual (further) levels come into being costantly according to the asystemic distinctive qualities we are describing. They become in-furtherness according to a time dimension which is capable of becoming by itself (around and within itself): this time dimension takes form (and meaning) by way of its becoming - other - according to an incessant transformation-transfiguration. Time constructs and de-constructs itself (materializes and de-materializse itself), within the same domain in which the composition manifests itself in-music as it resounds with all its components and its many interactions with the harmonics at stake: in a simultaneous relationship with the whole (synchronic condition which also anticipates the whole) and in a diachronic relation which is a story-tale of the sound occurrence underway (according to the view-listening point taken at every stage by the performers, the audience and  a broader reality). The time dimension loses therefore its usual fixity, meant as a steady and constant development along one direction; it becomes itself a complex organising factor of the relationship between sounds and of their propensity to aggregate (and disaggregate) in an irregular and asymmetric space, in a time of occupation and disoccupation, in void stages and filling stages, and (de)scribes a field setting  itself parallel, rich in information as opposed (in-Doubling) to a possible (virtual) other originating from mere entropic disorder.

f.     During the piece a constant motion to and fro takes place, accumulating and dissipating, constructing and de-constructing: the progression does not limit itself to a opposition of dual nature, that is of plain oscillation around a point fixed beforehand. The sound cells aggregate and disaggregate themselves in a non-linear (non-regular) way, as a result of a negative (simple) and of a positive (iterative) feed-back making up the asystem allowing change, as its constant parameter where no element is repeated that is identical to itself, since a condition of difference (furtherness = difference = otherness = release from usual ties) is offered.

f.1   This also means breaking the compulsion to repeating that, if on the one hand is one of the fundamental factors that make knowledge and evolution possible to human experience ( factor memory), on the other it is also the trap in which the evolutionary process of the species has fallen into and fixed itself, this latter being either condemned to a mirror condition, to remain the same, or to cope with the fear of losing the sense of the self and of things (those corresponding to the self) for ever.


a.         The mode of aggregation and grouping of sound and its spinning in time-space, it being now a two-dimension, and then a complex three- or more dimension substratum, finds its broadest expression in this piece characterized by two piano lines in-Doubling: piano 2 represents the doubling factor of piano 1 line, as explained later in the text.

b.      As already pointed out in other compositions, the listener is invited here to take an active part in his or her relation to the musical event: in this case , it is not enough for him or her to comprehend and enjoy the music underway in a passive way, and let himself or herself be permeated by the musical rhythm, timbre or the dialogue between  instruments. He or she should instead become active as the one receiving the complexity emanating from the (a-)system, further in-becoming. Whoever listens should set himself or herself in the difference, that is he or she should not only let his or her sense apparatus interact with sounds and their construction; listeners should also become integral part of the (a)system underway and let emerge not that much the complexity related to the initial stages of listening as the one related to the stage further in-becoming: in that space(-time) where time constructs (and deconstructs) itself and gives form to a sort of substratum-carpet of sounds where at first impact, everything seems to stand still in constant research. In fact nothing is still, as a change with no solution of continuity manifests itself, not yielding to chance disorder, but rather organizing itself within a condition in which there looms through a time dimension set in a peculiar difference and carried by that very constant inherent in a change with no return and never random. Ordinary unidirectional becoming, on one layer, is supplanted by a relational complexity with negative and positive feed-back and in close relation to it another deep time dimension seems to emerge which has the property of becoming, of a very slow, step-by-step motion: just like a substrate which slowly tends to move and arrange itself within a becoming-staying condition and to create, through so peculiar a motion, an existence founding a further reality capable of a non-functional, non-linear becoming within a complex stage of being. In this way a (new) stage defines itself within difference and with the peculiarity of a steady opening towards the wealth of interactive connections to systems of the same or different species, never exhaustible in themselves*.


a.  As previously stated the two pianos (the two piano lines) are disposed according to their specific reciprocal relationship, called in-Doubling: it is one of the modalities which characterize this kind of music; it is the expression of complex asymmetric relations (if compared to ordinary systems) which take place in the interweaving of sounds, of thinking and of emotions of performers, of listeners and of reality in general, all of them invited to play a particularly active role.

b.      Also in this case there is a shift in the semantic value of the terms introduced. The word Doubling has not the meaning it usually has in music, that is, it is not a “simultaneous duplication of a sound or melody, in unison or with an interval of several octaves (…)”. See Enciclopedia della musica, Garzanti. Besides, this term has been connected by an hyphen with the preposition of state in, just like for in-becoming. The union (and the separation) designates the emergence-requirement of a new meaning to refer to that whole, and as regards its specific musical field, a new relationship in-Doubling between two or more instruments.

c.      In-Doubling is therefore an expression which has been purposely coined for this music: the doubling line, in this case piano 2, gives rise to a musical entity capable of further abstraction by coupling to piano 1. This specifically involves the introduction into verticality of the generating factor of that (a-)complexity (abstract complexity) which pertains to a new system in-music: the temporal dimension takes those characteristics that we have indicated and the musical lines in specific and mutual interaction (in-Doubling) learn to swing and fluctuate between construction and deconstruction, in two, three or more dimensions within the interweaving resulting from horizontal progression and vertical integration.

d.      An interactive sound field of this kind is ready to give rise, in whoever listens to it, to a similar field of oscillation-fluctuation lacking stability and whatever solution of continuity (as regards the ordinary models expected). A sort of suspension of time emerges, whose (abstract and asymetrically oscillating) beats make themselves apt to embrace and comprehend the beats of the performer (i.e. bodily and mental subjective states): these extend to a relationship that, if on the one hand is characterised by a very strict coupling to the musical lines, on the other one opens on to (affective and abstract) detachment with those very same lines that are (now) arranging themselves into a time which becomes objective and free according to their own inner reasons (self-referential).

e.       Specification of the line of piano 2.

Considering all this, one can easily see how that which could be called abstract Doubling (in-Doubling) is that musical gesture expressly induced to avoid whatever state of fixation of the system (piano1), it itself being already slightly displaced as it constantly faces its own time parameters and organization not fixed (stabilized) beforehand and yet the system is not accidentally indefinite (as it is the equivalent of a complex organization (a)-system, capable of relational self-definitions). Since line 2 of the Doubling, turns out to be a sort of counterpointwithin difference from ordinary counterpoint – adopts its own inner rules which pertain to the complexity of the systems on the edge of chaos, it could also be conceived, written and interpreted not in conformity (difference=in-becoming that is in-researching) to the unicity and to the inclination towards stabilization of the system, as the written score would usually imply: actually, this second stage tends to coupling according to different relational modalities pertaining to the(a)-systems capable of non-standard oscillation: the performer is invited to put himself or herself in a state of interpretative freedom – and also of abstract and creating improvisation as we are used to call it so as to distinguish it from the ordinary one – the way the line itself was composed, already before its written elaboration: the fundamental tie to which one should keep to, is the necessity to bring about that coupling of complex order within difference (in-becoming=in-differing), that line 1 of the piano proposes again and again.


f.     Besides the oscillation (non-stabilization) expressed by the two piano lines, the introduction of the percussions brings about a further sense of release (in-difference=in-becoming) of the whole in its entirety: this enables a sense of expressive freedom with a similar value of communication (a-communication) to emerge which, in the receiving system (the listener and, in general, the broad system of res extensa), turns into affective (abstract) value, (according to the meanings given to this term in the introduction to In-abstracto complexu).

       The performer becomes the very interpreter of his or her part, creator according to his or her innate specificity, not independent of the relationship with the musical ensemble and - as to the vast (a)-system - of the existing conditions at the moment of the performance [the audience, the relationship with the other interpreters, the medium of transmission (broadcasting, telecasting, concert hall) and, in general terms, the context of the reality underway].

g.     As to a propensity to expressive and (a)communicative, even playful, freedom of this musical piece, one has also to take into account that the performer is expressly invited — as pointed out in a few points of the score — to abandon his or her usual instruments and try other ones, for instance wind instruments — slide (coulisse) flute —or percussion instruments — wasamba. So, the intention of releasing the performers from their habits and performing confidence has been shown ad-ulteriora, lending  the piece an all too important improvisation and brightness touch.

       These moments of detachment and of subtle, although limited, transgression, let short and very quick caesuras like pin pricks pierce the outer texture of reception so as to open up passages to a deeper level, where a subtext, which is an abstract continuum, forms as previously explained, within the asystem (in-difference) in-becoming.

       This layer completes the a-structure of the whole, while continuosly, even if covertly, stimulating the higher properties of the listening systems, which in their turn are induced to produce an activity at least equal to the complexity involved in the texture of the musical piece.


a.     The introduction of the violin part, as an additional element participating in the interweaving of the asystemic complexity, works as an addition and, at the same time, as a subtraction of the whole (the violin is in any case an optional instrument). This part summarizes and a subsumes the whole, as it is a voice which through its light, almost absent manifestation spins the whole while giving it (further) abstraction and affection: the violinist is placed at a certain distance from other performers, near to the audience; he or she stays there, as place of mediation which acts as an abstract catalyst transforming the percussion sounds into a subtle, tenuous and sometimes even estranging continuum; outside and beyond usual patterns. It represents a sort of Doubling of the sound universe which is taken (subsumed) as a whole: mutation-rotation (revolution) of such composite interweaving (abstractus complexus) in which the listener and the whole reality are invited to take part as thinking and affective entities further in-becoming.

       In the end we would like to quote a statement by Wittgestein in which everything is brought forward over again in a constant rotation and metamorphosis without the possibility for anyone of  ever resting anywhere.

       “My statements can be explained as follows: the one who understands me, in the end, once he has climbed up them — on them — beyond them , perceives them as meaningless. (He should, so to say, throw the ladder away after having climbed it up).

       He is to overcome these statements and right then will he see the world correctly.”

That of which one cannot speak, one has to keep silent".

     Wittgenstein, Tractatus philosophicus)


Appendix [1]

Instrumentalists and plotter paintings arranged

on the stage

A particular arrangement of the instrumentalists has been studied strictly related to the (complex systemic) meaning of the music proposed; they, in turn, have been arranged by establishing specific relationships to a few digital panels (plotter paintings).

The panels have been conceived and realized for this particular musical piece, according to a construction (and de-construction) process which corresponds to the musical object: they constitute a Doubling of it, as they fall within the sphere of visual (artistic) objects marking the relational (energy) field between the performers (in their reciprocal relationships) and the audience listening and viewing.

The 2 pianos are arranged horizontally, in the usual way, parallel to the borderline of the scene and close to it, as near as possible to the place where the audience are sitting.

The percussionist with his or her instruments is at the back of the pianists, on a platform.

Suspended from above, by the piano sides, there are two horizontal plotter paintings of 140 x 200 cm (Pictures 2 and 3); swung from two chains, they can move in the space in a pendular motion. At the centre (near to the percussionist) a double-sided plotter painting of 125 x 90 cm (Pictures 1 and 1 bis), with vertical design hangs from a chain, swaying and spinning in the space (oscillating and rotatory element).

On the two sides of the stage two plotter paintings stand properly supported meaning the hypothetical existence of two empty entities-musicians in-Absence (Pictures 4 and 5)

Method of construction and meaning of the Plotter paintings (in-Doubling) in relation to the music in-becoming

The plotter paintings are constructed according to a model-form which follows the same process of ideation and realisation of the music. They consist in the digital reproduction on sensitised paper  (stuck on a  support of different rigid materials) of a photograph elaborated several times in successive layers according to different techniques [black and white photocopy, elaboration with acrylics, another photocopy and a possible analogue photograph, superimposition of colour and final digital reproduction. Sometimes there is a further intervention with further elaboration with acrylics on the glossy surface of the digital reproduction (analogue painting intervention)]. [2]

The starting image is a black and white photocopy of a photography (taken by Lisetta Carmi) of a musical gesture ( the left hand raised, which is about to go down on the keyboard, performing that gesture which has been indicated as a π on the score, and described in the Introduction).

The above figure, elaborated several times, with successive materializations and de-materializations, is the base element and constitutes Pictures 1 and 1bis. In its further stages, it acts as a background of the whole and represents a sort of transfiguring and expiring memory. In this way it witnesses a new time dimension expressed in-music, further in-becoming, given which, through a self-organising complex process, the construction of a different entity is possible: transformation of two-dimension unities (each of them comphrensive as a whole) into three- or more dimension entities of different value (black and white or colour background with colour ellipsoidal elements Picture 2).

These entities are ready for polymorphic transformations with the organization of objects of different kind (musical, formal, and of different artistic and conceptual kind), and find further coupling to the profile of the cranic vault and to the abstract volume of the human skull as sign of the development of the encephalon and of its complex process centrality in further becoming, within a field undergoing a further transfiguration. In it a concave sign-gesture, and its coupling to the fluctuating profile of the skull become signs of abstraction proper to a comprehension-synthesis, equivalent to a transmuting whole (Picture 3).

Of the two digital panels on the two sides of the stage one represents the transformation of a whole through a condensing wave (Picture 4), the other one as well, obtained from Picture 2 through rarefaction-transfiguration of the whole, represents the abstract Double of what is taking place on the opposite side: the condensation wave of the picture transforms the panel into a further articulated whole and opens it up to further changes(further in-becoming) , in that deep interstices become visible.

Notes for the performance

I. A free interpretation of so vast horizons is possible within the frames referred to piano 2, according to which the performer can even reorganize the rhythm, the frequency and the dynamics, although taking them into due account: these parameters nomore a precise and binding written score, fade into a suggestion, an invitation to creative performance, where the musician can propose his or her interpretation through his or her own (abstract) creative-affective intervention. As a result, a mediation of new kind takes place which is the equivalent of a doubling which is furtherly established between the original element — the suggestions in the frames — and their reorganizing composition resulting from the new approach. Sections  highlighted by frames are meant to give emphasis to the written suspensions and to the interstices that, indicated on the score, infuse in it an emptying property and a freedom bordering with detachment, in order to give a respite from the performer’s usual cares: now a further interpreter, the performer becomes in actual fact a mediating being of the new a-system, whose references, however significant, fall within the boundaries of the described paradigm, as far as frequency, dynamics and the rhythmic patterns are concerned.

II. The π chord is to be performed with a prehensile articulation of the hand by means of a rapid horizontal movement in direction of the performer; such a prehension involves a free and nimble use of the whole limb: arm and forearm are to follow the movement of the hand without giving rise to any hindrance and thus enabling the hand to leave (abandon) the keyboard immediately; as a result, any possible lengthening of the sound can only be achieved using the crescendo pedal.

                                                                                    Paolo Ferrari e Vittorio Zago.

                                                         .(Translation by Patrizia Brighi)



·The a we put before the terms used for the construction (and de-construction) of the assumptions, which relate to the a-system and rule this music, has no privative value. It rather denotes which direction this (a)system of new kind is taking, while placing itself in the flow of difference = in further becoming, as explained in the present text. This new (asystemic) condition involves a further (dis-)position of thinking, of feeling and of being in general, in accordance with a few particular properties which define, in-music, a further dominion as far as composing and listening (taking part) are concerned. There seems to be a particular and very interesting disposition which manifests itself at each single stage of the music, towards a narrating inclusion which specifically involves the very same rules controlling the composition. A (further) becoming is thus implemented and there prevails a constant changing, a freedom of expression and liberty of a-communication which, in its continuous self-regenerating process, lets emerge space-time constants of a new kind, of different origin and capable of letting whatever kind of fixity and repetition cease, yet without indulging — at any place or time of the in-music process - on a temptation towards entropy which though poor in form and meaning, can often be associated to a misleading totipotence.

* See also In-abstracto complexu: (the) activity of music.

[1] This description concerns the optional staging of the plotter-paintings

[2] The digital processing of the original analogue works by Paolo Ferrari have been obtained with the help of Andrea Moroni, electronic engineer.