2nd part of Kinêm(a), a series for 4 to 7 amplified instruments.
Instrumentation: amplified flute, saxophone, prepared piano and percussion.
Date of composition: December 2011.
Commission: French MINISTRY OF CULTURE and PROXIMA CENTAURI ensemble.
World premiere: PROXIMA CENTAURI ensemble. Le Rocher de Palmer, Opus 12.3 (Bordeaux), on May 4, 2012.
Other concert: PROXIMA CENTAURI ensemble, Maison de la Radio (Genève, CH), on May 11, 2012.
Kinêm(a)bstract is the second part of Kinêm(a), a series of pieces for four to seven amplified instruments.
The title of the piece was derived from the Greek word "kinêma" (which means "movement") and from the term "abstraction".
The (a) of each title is an allusion to the object little-a conceptualized by psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan.
His work on the psychic structure was mostly based on geometrical concepts which were useful tools to formalize the global architecture of the unconscious beyond the singularities of each individual.
The object little-a is the drive object, undefinable, elusive, which cannot be symbolized.
In Kinê-Diffr(a)ct, the first piece of the series, the musical matter was criss-crossed by waves whose trajectory was continuously deviated or interrupted, as in the case of a diffraction.
In Kinêm(a)bstract, the musical gestures present ever more refined contours and get gradually reduced to minimal mobile appearances. The global sound envelope depends more on their movement than on their shape.
The piece attempts to retrace the abstraction of movement or the movement of abstraction, i.e. the emergence of a pure movement whose dynamic force comes out from the configurations delineated by its execution.
The initial agitation - with the circular formulas of the saxophone or of the piano, for instance, or the descending quiverings of the flute - gradually gives way to kinds of diagonals (the two-sound spaced motifs) or horizontal cross-hatched dashes (the regular repetition of a pitch).
Each sound gestuality is more and more disembodied, emptied from its content, and small mechanical formulae appear here and there, introducing a rigidity, an ever more abstract dimension.
Whether the trajectories are circular, fluid, or geometrical, the kinetic dimension is the moving power of the piece and in its conclusion, the harmonic space gets wider with, on the one hand, the noise texture of the piano and the percussion, and on the other hand, the inexorable ascending movement towards the high-pitched register of the motifs played by the flute and the saxophone, reduced to short glissandi.
Clara Maïda, May 2012
Kinêm(a)bstract - Score - Page 26