Instinctive Ritual

A live recording of the premiere by Mariko Brown and Julian Jacobson can be viewed here.

I am preoccupied with a need for structure and an urge to avoid it. Music is a discipline in which this dichotomy is a real concern.

In writing this piece I was trying not to represent a ritual in music but asking whether the ritual and instinctive can somehow be combined.

Theoretically, they cannot. One can follow a pattern or ritual and not know what exactly what will turn out – I think we could agree on that – but can one be instinctive and completely spontaneous or irrational yet somehow already know what you are doing? Can you be on the way to an unknown destination and somehow already there at the same time, or attempting something for the first time already knowing you can do it? I wonder in what sort of place, real or imaginary, these states could be combined.


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