Conference about my music at the University of Berlin, May 27th, 2010. Part 3/3
Music scores bring together diverse elements into a unique storyboard. Lights, movements, objects, visuals, and space design. By the fact of being written down on a music score, they are under the light of a musical logic. A musical score is not only a method of registration of actions and sounds, but it is mainly a big grid from where to conceive and appreciate certain ideas. It is not only about writing musical sounds but about organizing musical thoughts, even if they don´t sound.
Music notation is the best tool to write down events into a timeline. Sounds are fragile and very abstract, so it is necessary to use a very efficient tool to make them exist. Notation makes fragility strong, using a precise graphic vocabulary to talk consistently about abstract things. I find this particular relationship between the fragility of the materials combined with solid structures, the foundation of all my music.
Even having the perfect score and the perfect performer, controlling the way water falls, a snare drum echoes, a radio speaks, the way a cello bow bounces it is never going to be completely predictable. There will be inevitably some deviation. We know that musical notation is about what is written, but I think that is also about what cannot be expressed, a margin of unexpectedness. This margin of error is also the margin for freedom. Music is what is written in combination with what is being played. Notation doesn’t describe, notation doesn´t command. Notation invokes.
Musical scores analyzed, classify and organize events in a timeline. The paradox of this enormous laborious activity is that the outcome is always a fresh live event, produced in the same instant of the performance.
The scores […] are sometimes an essential tool for composition. There are things that no composer would have been able to do all of a sudden, without looking at the paper, step by step, what is happening between the different things that he or she comes up with. This may be one of the most important things which distinguish Western music from other cultures.