21st Feb. 2013:
S.W. plays three.
The first is Rautavaara’s Ikonit (1955) after five images of Russian icons: The Death of the Mother of God, Two Village Saints, The Black Madonna of Klakernajan, The Baptism of Christ, The WOmen at the Sepulchre, The Archangel Michael fights the Antichrist. Each is spelled in a linear pouring that amounts not in that it develops in either time or space through movement, but only in the sense of a rumination mounting, of an image advanced through image forming. Were these musical images after icons to be given as icons before musical images, they would be thus:
But there is the sense that, curiously transposed to music by scarcely knowable means, each is a particular image of an image, one stripped of light and space and, indeed, any original agglomeration of sound, and furnished in their stead with parallel intervals. Further, these parallel “images” to their “icons”, themselves parallel “icons” to their divine “images”: Rautavaara’s, “taken from icons”, would appear to have performed a literal removal “from” those five icons, an ungilding and unpainting, by strokes undone so as to be written and then recomposed by and in the strokes of the fingered notes of those very parallel intervals, marking the greater gesture of the interval between paralleled, so that perhaps, then, these images played were images produce by altogether reterritorialised icons, images for icons – before or taken for, rather than after or taken from.
The second is Mozart’s Sonata in FM, K332 Allegro, rich in ideas as with furniture: all manner of legs and ornamentations, the mechanisms of supports sliding out as a desk is lowered of a lid, fit enamel, flush engraving. Obviously a harpsichord appears. But – or and with it – all the while the sensed apparition of a kind of consistency like a spongey sandstone evenly punctuated by uniform string plucks. Throughout and despite, or rather precisely due to, the repeated variation, varied repetition, it were as if this uniform substance were the idea produced by the piano of the harpsichord, and these ten fingers were already stiched into the fabric issuing in time, evenly in space, so that one would only have to pull at the end of the fabric, the starting point somewhere about the tips of the tails S.W does not wear, to drag out the even stiches which nevertheless sound as though to come in the patterns of playful conceit; of a piano thought harpsichord. The varied widths of stitches were granted alone by the varied conjuring of this uniform matter from somewhere flat in front along the keys beyond them.
Beside the third – Liszt’s After a reading of Dante – Fantasia quasi Sonata – I write: (literally) figuring exhaustiveness: How much fabric folding. Without a question mark. S.W’s hands enact the inevitable slippages of the music down into the groove of nostalgia, to where they are comfortable, to what they have done before, to wherefrom they might leap ever higher or further as up the side of an inescapable vessel perhaps so as to shatter it.
Of lasting fascination is a single idea, of Rigoletto’s costume, which, via by now to any precision forgotten paths, comes to figure as the costume of facility, the skin one eventually adopts after, in this case, evidently multiply thinking through for the sake of a single iteration; performance. Rigoletto’s is an extremity, an end point which may come to be worn casually and even for considerable time, but is ever outweighed by the time of pracising, the space of thought.
Whereas that of the stage Rigoletto are granted – although this gesture must surely be permitted its own mysticism – the kind here enacted is of a cloak of extremities produced through the lengths of varied repetitions practiced; a face – a body – of a celestial alcoholic, with firing endings, tips, extremities. This warped vision arrives from the music, from which (or combination of) the three I do not recall: all that is necessary to foreground, to ground, to build, to finally then most directly say so as to be appreciated. Surely these appreciable tips might all be capitulated directly in a kind of perverse condensation of the music. As in the deep sea, these pulsing lit extremities would be all that is perceivable, all internal paths unlit, unpenetrated, or else inversely, were extremities innermosts, all external reaches both transparent and invisible, and all lit, only firing inside endings. But surely: none given time nor space, none appreciable at all, any-where, any-time. Instead, the music too practices itself, radiates outwards in lengths of paths through space intentionally spent and wasted, time taken or truncated, so as to emanate a final skin, the exposed venation of an alcoholic, tips raised, frayed, end-shot, a vision of a deep-drowned abyssal Rigoletto lit by all he drowns by.