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Radu Malfatti
A world of infinitives.

order reference:   
EWR 9801

Radu Malfatti
Radu Malfatti, Trombone;
Wandelweiser String Quartet

What happens? Some thoughts on Radu Malfatti's music

In Radu Malfatti's music nothing special happens.That is a distinct quality.

Very simple things happen which can easily be named as bowing or blowing; bowing on the tailpiece, bowing on the tuning peg for the third string, blowing at a specified angle into the trombone, blowing with a specified shape of the mouth cavity. These activities become perceptible because of the sounds: one hears the noise of bowing, that is, thus-bowing or thus-blowing.
In these works no sound goes beyond this perceptible activity. The sound of bowing or of blowing can he distinguished from the corresponding activities, but cannot, however, be detached. Not once is an independent object created, such as a motive or a figur, a rhythm or a pulse - or even a particular sound. Only sounding: "a-sounding-of-some-length"; for instance, "a-bowing-of-some-length". Radu Malfatti's music is a music of the infinitive: "blowing-sounding", "bowing-sounding".

The world of the infinitive, produced in this way, is the world of events. "Bowing-sounding" does not represent anything, nor does it play a role as an element of structure. It just happens, taking place as an indissoluble multiplicity of perceptual or sensory possibilities. Listening itself can now take on the form of the infinitive. lt can become a listening without limits, by engaging itself in this multiplicity of possibilities. In this sounding-taking-place, (which, especially in the case of white noise, contains an endless number of components that remain inconspicuous by themselves), suddenly this or that is noticed as remarkable: colors happen to be perceived, irregularities, accents, and indeed pitches, harmonies or melodies.
These "special" experiences are not the result of any kind of compositional emphasis. They occur completely informally, in the act of listening. OnIy "‚routines" are composed: now and again blowing or bowing in a certain way.

Just as there are no prominent sounds in this music, there are no prominent moments. When something happens, or how long, is meaningless. Things simply happen at some time. And when there is a special moment, for example when a long sound suddenly stops, it is only because it is within an entirely routine process ("something begins and then stops") that the perception appears as remarkable, not because it would embody a meaning lying outside of the process.

Silence also has its own sound with Radu Malfatti: the sound of allowing or "allowing-sounding". These sounds pervade his music.

Antoine Beuger

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