Alessio Riccio - October 2008
If I have to think of a phrase that summarizes the relationship I have had with music over the last few years, I would come up with the following: using the unknown to make unknown that which is known. The creative and operative consequences of such a premise are manifested in a way which is as strong as it is spontaneous: working for the disarticulation, or better, the meta-articulation of languages and of the various techniques interconnected with them, constantly redefining one’s own identity as a musician. All this, however, while keeping firmly in mind the premise stated above: not forcing the unknown to let itself become too known, recognizing the role of mystery as an essential trait of art.
At the moment in which mystery is sparked and becomes at the same time inspiration and objective, almost automatically there become manifest the psychological, conceptual and operative conditions acting to create music which does not allow itself to be attributed to or summed up in the configuration of the “already known” (of the pre-digested, Adorno would write), and if the perceptual massification of mainstream languages aims strategically at standardized reactions, the music of those who feel the need to try to renovate/innovate constantly the experience of sound, of its being experienced as well as its being proposed and received, moves in the opposite direction, towards the construction of the alternative, towards new pathways in the use of things and mental categories, towards non-conventional pathways, towards a renewed vision of the world.
As a performer and sound shaper, I am committed every day to an ethics/aesthetics of subversion, for which, Pierre Boulez writes, there is no creation if not in the unpredictable which becomes necessity, and if I think of my personal idea of the musician today, of his collocation in the world, of the possible directions which can be undertaken, of the territories and the possibilities which can be explored and proposed, of the projects designed and shared, there are two fundamental points which I would note down in my travel journal, to always carry with me and re-read when I feel that I have lost my orientation:
- music is interesting only to the extent that it brings something fundamentally new, which must appear in the transformation of the artist and his subjectivity;
- any form of radical passion, be it artistic, political, scientific or, more simply, any form of love, for a person, an idea, a project, an impulse, rests on an invisible need, which has no concrete form, which cannot be identified with any form of institutionalization, much less with forms of social mass production.
A music which takes shape as filtered by these premises will be fresh, vital and topical, will be pervaded by a sense of inevitability, will materialize through creative and not conventional approaches and methodologies, will be witness to barriers that are broken down and overcome. New visions and new poetics will be brought to the forefront. Further expressive and linguistic possibilities will contribute to an increase in the openness towards the perception of a music (and perhaps of life itself) finally multifaceted, which constantly brings back into play the potentiality of all the senses.
On a strictly operative plane, one which is instrumental, performative and compositional-assemblative, the work aimed at the creation of a personal sonic universe (the sound of one’s own instrument as well as that of the overall one, the general idea of one’s own music), of a potentially unique linguistic and expressive universe, must in my opinion go forward rethinking above all the evocative experiential fields of creativity, taking inspiration from the idea of difference, of an experiential approach towards doing: it is the passion which transforms itself into research, through the agonizing attempt at the elaboration of one’s own idea of music, a rigorous music which at the same time gives of itself as a living organism, music which establishes profound contacts, which is the fruit both of work in the field of sensitive experience and that of intellectual reflection. Music which is the fruit of stubborn effort aimed at the elaboration of its own idea of form, and which, along this path, leads to the serene acceptance of long or even very long timeframes in the process of the translation of ideas from the purely intuitive and conceptual plane to that which is factual, to the finished, formed project. On this point, it is truly impossible, for me, not to think of Rielke and his invitation not to fear the time which passes, when he calls us to wait with deep humility and patience for the hour when a new clarity is born, given that, this alone is what it means to live as an artist: in understanding as in creating. And again: in this there is no measuring with time, a year doesn't matter, and ten years are nothing. There also comes to my mind a reading of some time ago, regarding the conversation between the pianists Leon Fleisher and Hélène Grimaud, with the former, the maestro, who says to the student whatever you do, you have the potential to do it very well on your own. Just remember, don't start too quickly. Perform as little as possible. Stay on the sidelines until you have found your own system.
The final question, then, could be this: how can the musician create his own personal system and with that, perhaps, attempt to modify the countless status quos? I have tried to answer by moving in the direction of the radical personalization of every single sonic element, pursuing a meticulous hyperdetermination of the creative material, as well as an ecstatic and immersive conception of design, creation and fruition. The objective, child of the initial premise, was and is a music which conserves the sense of enigma, a music whose resonance is guaranteed by the rigour of the formal complexities and the macrostructure, a music which leads to a place where everything happens for the first time, where rhythm is the Unequal or Incommensurable, where being rhythmical is the difference and not the repetition (Deleuze), where there exist all the conditions favorable for the proliferation of meanings. A magic and multiple dimension, which moves from the restricted field of experimentation to the coextensive dimension of sound and of the world, which leads towards a space without time, where everything, finally, subsides