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  • In conversation with Chris Dench

    The following interview was largely completed in 2019. Editorial work began in 2020 yet was significantly delayed due to the global pandemic crisis. As Chris Dench and I revisited the interview, we both thought it would be unfair to the 2019 zeitgeist to retouch it based on current events. This is particularly pertinent to the…
  • Postmodernism in Philosophy and Music

    “Postmodernism,” as a term, is historically and morphologically bound to Modernism. It is customary to introduce it as a heterogenous “movement” evoking “a number of related cultural tendencies, a constellation of values, [and] a repertoire of procedures and attitudes,” 1Ihab Hassan, “Toward a Concept of Postmodernism,” In A Postmodern Reader, ed. Joseph Natoli, Linda Hutcheon (Albany: State…
  • Music and Psychoanalysis: The Function of Fantasy and Desire

    In order to unpack the relationship between music, fantasy and desire, a recourse to Jacques  Lacan’s terminological delineations must first be worked in: 1) Dylan Evans (citing Lacan) defines fantasy as that which “enables the subject to sustain his desire, and ‘that by which the subject sustains himself at the level of his vanishing desire.”…
  • Melodic Tropes in Sciarrino’s Vanitas

    In Vanitas, Sciarrino makes use of only one overarching distinct melodic figure which accompanies the voice through the hour-long work. Since he rarely deviates from such figure, I hear the text as slowly neutralized by the repetition of what constitutes a universal morphologically identical melodic trope which envelope rarely changes: From silence, to a crescendo, to…
  • J.T.Fraser’s Theory of Time as Conflict

    Fraser’s theory of time as conflict “comprises a class of principles in the scientific and humanistic study of time.” 8J.T. Fraser, Time and Time Again (Leiden: Brill, 2007), 153 Fraser postulates the “idea […] that time is not a single, one-way thrust in which the furnishings of the world partake equally, but a hierarchy of temporalities associated…
  • Formal Proportions in Schubert’s “Ihr Bild”

    An ordinary analysis of Schubert’s ‘Ihr Bild,’ most probably would proceed according to the following trajectory: First, one establishes a teleological relationship between composer and poet, and only secondly, through a series of ‘proofs’ - usually written in florid prose about topics which range from spiritual matters to atmospheric ones, - the writer manages to…
  • Atonal Transformational Voice-Leading in Webern’s Op.27 #3

    [1.] One had something to say. What did one say? Ideas. [But] how have ideas been formulated according to musical laws? … [2.] Presentation of a musical idea: what is one to understand by that? The presentation of an idea by means of notes. … [3.] The highest principle in all presentation of an idea…