Link Homepage Music Index @ E-Mail

Paolo Ferrari


The new musical science

The music of Absence or by Absence is that music – a complex and absent whole of relations and intervals between sounds - , whereby the listener’s place of response – of involvement – proves to be empty or absent. The music of Absence induces in anybody listening  - deciding to listen – a new level of thinking which we have called Absence, as we mean by it, what has not yet been so far.

By saying what has not yet been so far we do not refer that much to the discovery of a new method, a way of seeing or aim through which to observe and elaborate reality, in the way the concept of discovery is usually meant, for example in the scientific field, nor do we mean by it to have opened up a new way towards expression, as one usually means the emergence of a new way of looking at things which is accompanied by the creation of new languages, for example in literature or art. It rather involves a new level of reality – of existence and of the world never existed before –  being introduced into the world. At its origin, the very structure and mode inherent in observation have changed: the person observing and thinking has changed the activity - passivity -, one usually relies on to live think and ‘see’,  at his or her foundations

Along with it a break has taken place within the line and tissue of history, a ‘catastrophe’ in the mathematical meaning of the term, as a new unforeseen phenomenon. What we are going to see is not a discrete change, nor a linear transition from one step to the following one as regards knowledge or life. We rather observe a change, a revolution in the structure of the origin , which, in this way, can bring about a real ‘abstract’ level, one which we have called Absence.

The main characteristic of this level or layer is that things become absent. This means that the ‘thinghood’ of the world has a tendency to disappear as it is replaced by the condition of Absence which is also ‘sensible’ and ‘abstract’ vacuity’ because of which all the languages and forms conceived and existed so far enter into a condition never observed before and consisting of complex and abstract relations, with several simultaneous levels which also are of a concreteness which is yet neither visible nor tangible according to known experience and observation, as it behaves in a different way from the limited modalities bound to exhaustion through which the central nervous system has always been accustomed to find expression as vehicles of construction, creation and control of the so-called inner and outer reality.

As specifically regards music, that is that regular whole of relationships between sounds, we can see that these latter lose their sensible traces, their ‘concrete’ hearing–listening – and take as a manifestation of themselves the absence of an immediate sonority which deprives itself of that concreteness just like what we call ‘sound vibration’ which is highly and entirely concrete. This means that sound as a whole is now able to free itself from its manifest vibratory statute, i.e. of pitch, timber and intensity, getting closer to a form of ideation capable of pure ‘abstraction’ which is sensisble sound  absence of a sensibility never listened to nor produced before.

To this purpose it is necessary that the relations between sounds - the intervals - are assumed and conceived by whoever thinks them – whoever composes and interprets them – in a correct way, in relation to the new system of the whole reality: then the musical event will meekly locate itself quite close to the absence of sound, and thus concrete sound will likely disappear from the world.

The music of Absence - not stiffened within empty forms and closed in ‘abstract’ and reductional containers (rhythm, measure, and so on) which have been prearranged a priori and thus not flexible enough according to the requirements of certain kinds of compositions – disposes itself in such a way that the person whoever listens to and is willing to have a suitable involvement to the event, finds himself or herself elsewhere in respect to the root of his or her psycho-biological condition – although in the time phase he or she is ‘occupied’ with this action and for brief moments, he or she becomes conscious of a new level of the activity of thinking of which the music of Absence is vehicle, a temporary disguise, made for a period, also for that world in which the thing reigns (the sound, the note)instead of the consciousness and the experience of nothingness (the antisound, the antinote).

The music of Absence 2.

The music of absence is  an ‘abstract’ language which originates from a new level of thinking we have investigated – a level we have called ‘Absence – which proves to be capable to give rise to a relation between sounds, notes – antisounds, antinotes – which have never been conceived before. This relational composition is, according to our theory, (absent and empty) matrix of the relations considered and exploited so far by Western music and, for some aspects, also by Eastern music.

It is a relation which ‘anticipates’, that is a relation by ‘absence’, because of which every single note, every single sound resounds different from any sound or sounds following as it sets itself in the state of a special tie, called ‘tie by Absence’ for which entering into relation means  having a sufficient detachment, producing a sufficient and affective (relational) ‘void’ – so as to give origin to  a new whole – a whole beyond the colour of sound, beyond its vibration – so that music can offer a silence of a special quality, the one of a music which has become absent and therefore has deprived itself of ‘concrete’ sound we are accustomed to.