Visage I  (1956)

If now one looks at the Score of Visage I, one sees two confronted methods, the serial and the repetitive ones. One sees indeed evolving a series through a superposition of cycles. But increased. Not only the notes but also including sound objects, or extended to the use of the cycles themselves, in which this series of heights seems a submarine or the monster of the Log-Ness.


What was for me the series at this time?

It was perhaps to vary the height of the notes in order to reach the highest diversity, allowing to have a kind of classification which made it possible to mortally deteriorate the tonal system that one wanted to leave while crashing it to pieces. It was also to give up of a constraining academic form, and to enter the interdict.

As for the repetition, at the time of the composition of Visage 1, it represented for me, rather than a process, the observation of the social organization of time. The repetition is a place where are resemblances and also dissimilarities: if I repeat the same sentence twice, it is not any more the same moment.

And one should speak there about cycles rather than of repetitions, a series of cycles, or an intuition of more generalized series which would argue with another thing than with the parameters of the sounds and even another thing than with the musical form.

I imagined the cycles like individuals, living at different speeds. When they did not meet, they were independent, when they met by the phenomenon of different times; they were transformed by influence or confrontation.


It is this process I employed starting from Visage 1. I said that it was a serial work and that the series was at the same time of objects and cycles that it also worked like dodecaphonic series inside the cycles themselves.

I could not however apply this method in a systematic way, because I wanted that the meetings due to the random of repetitions do not modify systematically the individuals. I wanted that there, the choice of the desire dominates, so that it is the only to decide the value of the transformations. Thus could be articulated a kind of sentimental and narrative mechanics.


(Excerpts of a text of September 1994)