the green is where

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Description

instrumentation: violin
date: 2002
duration: 7’00
details: 9 pages, including performance instructions; A3 landscape

program note

“the green is where” (2002) is one of three extractable works from “the green is either”, a conductor-less conglomeration of three interconnected, simultaneous trios for seven players. The larger ensemble work—as is true for the two extractable solo works (also, “the green is or” for oboe)—takes its title and motivation from Husserl’s Logical Investigations, or more precisely from Derrida’s response in “Signature Event Context” and its discussion of semantic, grammatical content and its contextual contingencies.

To simplify briefly, Husserl argues that phrases such as “the green is either” (“le vert est ou,” with the aural ambiguity of ou/où pivotal to the argument) in fact are no longer of the realm of language, or at least, as Derrida writes, “no ‘logical’ language, no cognitive language such as Husserl construes in a teleological manner, no language accorded the possibility of the intuition of objects given in person and signified in truth,” into the realm of agrammaticality (Sinnlosigkeit). Derrida argues, however, that though “‘the green is either’ or ‘abracadabra’ do not constitute their context by themselves, nothing prevents them from functioning in another context as signifying marks.”

The possibilities of musical grammar—and, more importantly, agrammaticality—fascinated me and captured my imagination. The set of works under the “the green is either” banner are all experiments in the construction and destruction of communicative, musical grammars, and in the various failures implicit in such attempts, of the potentialities of dependence and independence of soloists and ensembles, and of the exchange and ruptures of intention in communicative texts and speech.

To this end, I have again deployed a procedure of decoupling, offering the possibility of further distortions of emerging and codified material. The fracture and destabilization attempts to move beyond a manipulation of aurally-defined units (gestures, harmonies, structures) into an even greater level of destabilization in which such mutations of musical material do not even necessarily appear on the musical surface, instead obfuscated or subverted by the opposing decoupled strata in the left (fingerboard/pitch) vs. right (bow/pizzicato) hands.

The works were commissioned by the Bludenzer Tage Zeitgemäßer Musik 2002, Bludenz, Austria, for ensemble recherche (Freiburg, Germany).

Dejana Sekulic, violin. University of Huddersfield, United Kingdom. February 25, 2020.

Dejana Sekulic, violin. Art Base, Brussels, Belgium. June 11, 2017.