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antoine beuger
... of being numerous
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EWR 1901
antoine beuger
colectivo maDam, antoine beuger (guest)

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antoine beuger (1955)


“one of our most beloved practices was named: “... of being numerous”.
we would use every opportunity to come together and perform it, sometimes planned, sometimes spontaneously. we loved it, on the one hand, for practical reasons, as it would involve simply “a” number of players and didn’t call for a specific number of participants or a specific instrumentation.
on the other hand, though, we felt, that it touched the core of our existence in the world, of our being someone in the midst of so many more “someones”.
none of us is an island, as John Donne would say. well, somehow, of course, we are islands, or at least we sometimes end up on islands. we love to sit on an island, just by ourselves, musing, daydreaming, happily detached.
but there are so many of us! we are numerous. too many to know. and we are everywhere, coming and going, passing by, emer- ging and disappearing again.
that is us: unique someones, occurring in an endless stream, in steady numerosity; someone, just another one; lives hovering between lone and lavish; between and besides; amidst and apart;
within and without. curious, how “numerous” ends with -“us”...

“... of being numerous” for us opened up a space in which to affirm this tension, this challenge of being (singular and) nume- rous. in the name of this practice we left the subject of the preposition open to allow numerous possibilities to resonate: the challenge, the joy, the danger, the fragility, the grace, the condition, the difficulty, the meaning, the reality, the roots, the boun- daries, the promise, ..., ..., ... of being numerous.

performing “... of being numerous” we would try to be as detached, as much by ourselves, as possible. we would all be involved in the same kind of things: playing a “phrase” (some “phrases”) with some mostly longish, quiet sounds; articulate a slow, but regular pulse with 2 little stones; reading some words, or syllables or letters from a poem one brought or knew by heart (just to oneself); humming a melody, so quietly, that maybe only oneself would hear it; making a very soft, continuous, spectrally complex frictional sound (paper on paper, stone on stone, paper on wood, finger on skin, ...); moving dry leaves from one bowl to another, trying to make no sounds; etc.; or just being silent, listening inward rather than outward.

this way, we would be both solitary and numerous, connected and free-floating, in a world of pure coincidence, which, to us, meant: grace.”
(from: the memories of RN, author and date of origin unknown)


audio excerpt:
► ... of being numerous (20:00)

colectivo maDam: david area (synthesizer, voice and objects), joan espasa (bass clarinet, voice and stones), tomás gris (melodica, voice and objects), rubén (sinewaves, voice and objects), víctor (singing bowls, voice and objects), guillermo torres (flugelhorn, voice and stones)
guest: antoine beuger (flute, voice and objects)