text to 24

A paragraph reduced to a sentence,
is a story condensed.
In content, form and expression.
The symphonic form, compressed to the core, suppressed, ppp...


and miniatures, one cynical, one business-like,
‘till we meet again’.


At first, my programme notes for Als een zin consisted only of the lines above. I was requested to add something, so in a sense this is a commentary on a commentary.
My fascination with music is a fascination with time and its content, and thus with form. This work is one of my experiments with time and form, a combination of the elements reduction and implosion. The most ideal form of reduction is what I would call the ‘brochure-model’: the reduction relates to its original as, for example, a holiday brochure relates to the holiday destination. A good brochure makes you curious; it’s the task of the brochure’s author to reduce the Mediterranean to a few powerful, essential sentences.

As a starting point for Als een zin, I chose the reduction of time; as a consequence a reduction of material was also needed. In accelerated music, the speed of the material should not be equal to the speed of the form. Picture a rapidly rotating bycicle wheel: the spokes seem to move backwards. A first experiment with reduction yielded a similar effect: the reduction of a large symphonic form resulted in a slow backward movement. The consequence is an apparent absence of harmonic progression.
All processes are stripped; there is no repetition. Everything happens only once: one orgastic explosion, one canon, one mirror, one tutti chord,  one still (on ‘unbewegtes’) etc.
On certain points the material implodes, similar to how an inept, introverted person behaves: afraid to let himself go, and when he does, fortissimi and rash gestures burst out.

And the miniatures? They are what they are. Part 1: proud; part 3: a quick, business-like transaction; part 4: a deep sorrow, as silent as possible.

In summary (after C.S. Lewis) : “I undressed it with small, cold fingers.”
Piet-Jan van Rossum, 26.3.’97


1. Alleen

Als ik zing,
dan liefst alleen

2. Beim heben des Vorhanges ist die Szene finster

Cette nuit j’ai enfin trouvé tes heureuses…
Silken meadows, velvet forests, des euax mornes, unbewegtes
Spare me, oh, it’s too heavy

Onze schaduw, alles,
de muren zweten in diepe schaduw
Deiner feste Wände bluten. Alle mauern
And I fled
Ran, ran
in velvet forests…

Zo’n gemiddeld grijze dag die niet op gang komt.
Hij leest, zij slaapt.

3. Reizend Goed

Spoedlevering voor bouwbedrijf,
Vrachtwagen stopt, er wordt overgeladen
Chauffeur staat erbij
Auto gesloten
Kijk hem na!

4. Sneeuw in Nice
(voor A.A.)

But thou, my mother,
still in hospital, pale
Ah, tender flowers, jardin merveilleux,
Tot ziens, altijd tot ziens…