According to Marcel Duchamp, to create we need to forget what we have learned. It is only by transcending what we have been taught, from an early age, that we can enter a real creative process. My solo pieces entitled Reflections on an Introspective Path are an attempt to achieve this transformation and to actively reflect upon it. Occidental string instruments have a particularly heavy, cloistered and well established homogenized tradition and avant-garde expression, which are pretty difficult to get rid of as a performer, especially if you have followed the so-called academic curriculum.
After having studied and performed different musical genres from classical to pop, from contemporary, improvised, experimental and electro-acoustic to rock, I realized it was time for me to find my own path in all these different styles. The first step I took was to ‘forget’ the knowledge gained from the outside and to get rid of the habits I had acquired and put to practice for over two decades.
The main influence that brought me to this new path was probably the acousmatic music, a musical movement initiated by the French composer Pierre Schaeffer (1910-1995) in the late 40's. The term acoustmatic was borrowed from the Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras, who taught his students from behind a curtain so that they could not see him nor his movements, allowing them, therefore, to focus on the voice without being disturbed by sight. Indeed, consciously or not, we tend to see images while hearing noises or listening to sounds. Pierre Schaeffer put this idea into a musical form and created music and sounds, which had no visual references, through the use of the new technologies of his time. He also invented the multiple speaker diffusion system, or the speakers’ orchestra called the acousmonium. Nowadays, this musical field or movement is still in activity. Composers use different machines and computers in order to transform and modify the sound and spread their composition through the acousmonium.
My approach is slightly different, since I do not use any machines or electronic effects to modify the sound I produce. I start from the acoustic point and develop my own extended techniques to obtain ‘new’ and unusual sounds from my instrument. However, I keep in mind the idea of losing any visual reference – in this case of the instrument itself. Once all the different unpredictable, complex and surprising sounds are found, new issues show up concerning the form and the meaning of all this procedure. What was actually the point of finding all these unfamiliar sounds and tones and to create this non-complacent musical space?
Marcel Duchamp’s The Afternoon Interviews (1964) and the collection of writings by Iannis Xenakis, Kéleütha (1955-1988), made it obvious that this ‘sound material’ should be assembled and given a concrete form as well as a precise direction. In this perspective, the hereby recording, its tracks and titles, the suite Confluences (in 3 movements), Equilibrium, Wick Machine and Thwart Path & Attained, refer to the idea of Movement. To finalize this ‘object’ which, in a certain way, questions the limit between the materiality and the immateriality of sound and music, I asked the artist Morgan O'Hara to draw the cover for the record. I thought her work would suit this approach and her drawing evokes the movements of my hands while performing in her New York studio. It also reflects, obliquely, the timing, shapes and form of my music. She called it Live Transmission.