Lo spazio inverso (1985) by Salvatore Sciarrino
for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and piano

To create the appearance of movement using stasis, of events devoid of context, this seemingly irresolvable paradox is the magical spell given me.

Abolishing rhythm, the succession of events unfold from polyphonic groupings like the constellations. The desert unveils its physiology. Islands pulsating with sounds skim over lakes of silence. Amidst the silence we rediscover the sounds of the body and recogize them as our own. At last we listen to them.

Now we hear even the slightest tensions in the intervals as something new. The gestures are emptied of their original meaning and a space is created where the composition breathes far from the usual musical forms. The persistence of events seemingly suspended in mid-air offers the reference points for our ear.

Whereas once the shape of a work had to be composed in a unitary manner, now that desire for form is overturned. The edges of thought simply set alongside each other and the work represents its own compositional process, line upon line, resembling a notebook of broken universes. No continuity, no fragments, no dialectics. Development is avoided, and there is only the suggestion of affinities or relationships between one moment and the next.

A melody of emptiness. Its lyricism emerges but only the aura is felt, almost magically, since there lacks even the most basic requirements for an attempted sequence.

Our mind is generous. It is to our mind that this faint music is addressed. The instrument of consciousness.

— S. S.    

[from program for May 28, 2008 concert]