MUSIC OF CROSSINGS is a cycle of 36 piano pieces. In a recital, a pianist can perform a selection of 5 or more pieces in any sequence – or the entire cycle. I started writing this work in 2015, and by now have completed 24 pieces. When completed, the entire work will be more than two hours long.
The name echoes the fact that each piece is a crossing, a node, in a multidimensional network of vectors that order pitch organization, articulation, texture and behaviour (does the music march or jerk, does it drag, hurry or stand still, is it turbulent or laminar etc. ?). The task for me as a composer, then, is to look at the 36 unique combinations of these vectors – and, for each combination, imagine a kind of piano music that could well inhabit this particular crossing.
The music that emerges from this method evokes many familiar and unfamiliar styles, without ever really embodying any one of them. It is as if we had landed in an alternate universe where Bach and Stravinsky were actually the same composer, where Gesualdo wrote a motet on a theme by Sibelius, where Lachenmann was famous for his gong trance music and young Dizzy Gillespie would have charmed the royals of Europe with their fortepiano skills. It is my hope that, in listening to these pieces, such hybrid memory traces of our stylistic past will become nothing more than just another parameter – next to, say, melody, rhythm, and loudness.
We live in a world where our origin often will say less about us than our destination, where our inner heritage is not determined by where we happen to live, and where new mixtures, combinations and, well, crossings are our daily reality, whether in food or in clothing, in love or in music. This composition is a sonic exploration of aesthetic resilience in the face of all those movements, powers and ideologues who would like us to remain closed-minded, blind, and deaf to the immense variety of our existence.
MoC is performed by Moritz Ernst.