1. Dedekind Duos (2003) (49:33)
· Carl Ludwig Hübsch: tuba
· Pierre-Yves Martel: viola da gamba
Composition by Antoine Beuger
Played by Carl Ludwig Hübsch & Pierre-Yves Martel
Recorded by Carl Ludwig Hübsch & Pierre-Yves Martel at Schloss Gnadenthal, Kleve, Germany on 14-15/3/2019
Mixed by Carl Ludwig Hübsch, Pierre-Yves Martel & Reinhard Kobialka
Mastered by Reinhard Kobialka at Topaz Studio Cologne
Graphic design by László Szakács
Produced by László Juhász
I sometimes like to think about a score as a confidential letter to a friend instead of viewing it as an unmistakable, in all respects well-defined representation of an intended sonic appearance, understandable to any possible reader, which today seems to be the more common way of looking at a score. A friend knows more or less, what I am talking about and will not be interested to willingly understand things wrong. He will be able to read between the lines and needs only a few words to get the message.
So, my scores are addressed to people that are (possible) friends.
In that sense they have also something in common with a message in a bottle, carrying with it the hope to reach an unknown, still benevolent reader, who is able and willing to understand and accept the message.
Including proper names by way of dedication (“first, second etc. music for marcia hafif”, “routley tunings” etc.) is a way of expressing gratitude. It is a way of showing my feeling indebted to their work and my hope that their work is present in my music, without being able to say exactly how. It may also be a way to support the piece by giving it a “patron”.
When I write for duo situations, I want to learn about what is specific for “two” as opposed to “one” or “three”. In other words: writing a duo, I want to learn about separation, not about sharing; about love, not about friendship etc. On the other hand, if I want to find something revealed about sharing, why should I write a duo?
Of course it is possible to have a duo music in which the aspect of separation, or, as I would say, of two-ness, is not or not primarily realized. Just as in life, not every relation of two people is a love relationship (e.g. two people working together, two people being friends or sharing a train compartment etc.), in music not every duo is automatically reflecting the intrinsic or ontological structure of “two”, which is disjunction. In these cases, it might be more appropriate to speak about “with-ness”, the basic experience being with someone else, not being separated from someone else, as in a love situation. Probably most duo music is doing just that: two people being/playing together for a while.
So, speaking about the Dedekind Duos: if “two” is about disjunction, about separation, the idea of “Dedekind cut” is near.
“Despite the extreme formal essentiality – or precisely because of it – the musical aesthetics of Antoine Beuger is one of the hardest to grasp among those of the Wandelweiser collective, the singular international community of which he is the main founder. Over time his scores have been inspired by important figures in every area of knowledge, from philosophy to cinematography, from poetry to music itself: a variety of suggestions that unfailingly translates into an extreme tonal and expressive reductionism; a natural disposition that leads to consider Beuger as a sort of ‘de-composer’ intent on dissecting, cataloging and preserving the minimum terms of each intuition he relies on, time after time.
In 2003 the Dutch author dedicated two works to important figures in mathematical studies, namely Georg Cantor (1845-1918) and Richard Dedekind (1831-1916), who knew each other well and had a long-lasting correspondence. To the latter we owe significant contributions in the theory of numbers, and above all the definition of infinite sets as a fundamental concept for understanding the world. Beuger therefore tributes him the Dedekind Duos (2003), which can be performed with any two instruments. Dating back to 2009, the first recording was published by the same Edition Wandelweiser and played by the duo Contour (vibraphone and trumpet), the formation for which the piece was originally written. Now it’s the Slovenian Inexhaustible Editions that releases a new interpretation for tuba and viola da gamba by Carl Ludwig Hübsch (Ariha Brass Quartet, among other countless ensembles) and Pierre-Yves Martel (recently heard alongside Matthias Müller in Dis-Drill).
In an interview with Simon Reynell, director of Another Timbre, Beuger explains that, for him, duo music is ‘music about being two, or, more radically, about love. […] The art of approximation (in tuning, timing, sound balancing…), can be the most reminiscent, commemorative, resonant of the single most important event, that human beings may experience in their lives: love’. Therefore, if we also look at the Dedekind Duos in this perspective, we realize that in the dialogue between the brass and the string instrument the marked and the caressing stroke, the unison and the alternation constantly give way to each other, and the discontinuous intersection of sustained tones generates sometimes placid harmonies, sometimes grotesque dissonances. As is true of post-Feldmanian poetics, the performers do not seek the perfection of the sound gesture, and rather welcome the flexes and cracks of the individual notes as if they were the reflection of human fragility, of the secret beauty that lies in fallibility.
Hübsch and Martel’s subdued interplay is aimed exclusively at the ‘corporeity’ of sound in relation to time, the imperfect completeness of each discrete element within a flow of signs without intrinsic meaning, but from which luminous, overarching vision arises: a potentially infinite, albeit imaginary, horizon line.” / Michele Palozzo, Esoteros, 21 June 2020