Powers of Divergence – webpage


P O W E R S   O F   D I V E R G E N C E 

a n   a r t i s t i c   r e s e a r c h   p r o j e c t   b y   l u c i a   d ‘ e r r i c o

     Powers of Divergence starts from the unbridgeable gap between the clarity of the semiotic codification of notation and the irreducible materiality of sound and gesture. It consists in a series of performances, each of which takes as departure point a given piece of notated music from the Western tradition (the “primary work”). An innovative possibility of relation to the musical past is constituted: instead of “recreation”, “reproduction”, or “reconstruction”, performance is considered as a way to reflect, through practice, on the commonsensical limits of the interpretational approach to scores, in order to move beyond them.

The “primary work”functions as the generator of affects, of vectorial forces that impinge upon the here-and-now of the performer, and not so much as something to be literally mirrored in performance.

The sonic and gestural outcome is therefore neither the objective enactment of the internal relations expressed by the score, nor the result of the subjective self-expression of the performer. Rather, it issues as a third state, one of suspension and non-representation, where performer and work are mobilised towards each other.

Performances do not try to approach through internal relations the unity of the sound expressed by the scores, but they constitute musical simulacra (in the Deleuzian sense as formulated in Logic of Sense) that sever the link with such original, through the materiality of sound and of performative gesture. Performance becomes radical departure from the scores taken as starting point. Sounds and gestures are trying to maintain a link with the “original” scores, but a link that is built upon sensation, affect, a form of encounter that exceeds both the (supposed) objectivity of the sign and the (supposedly existent) subjectivity of the  performer. What I am after is, as for painter Francis Bacon, a “resemblance through non resembling means”: resemblance as product and not as producer.

This implies also a work on the methods of performance: a research on how to elude representation and the wielder of the sign (meant, as Saussure explains, as solely mental) through an insistence on materiality, and on its irreducibility, excess and ambiguity. For this reason, my project involves a reflection on notation and on modes of inscription that happen directly in the body and in sound.