Enfolded Strings


Folding is a basic method/metaphor of these pieces. The idea arises out of both the concrete methods used for the processing of signal streams and a reflection on the complexity of music as expressed in the one dimension of sound. In space, complexity can be created by folding simple forms into higher dimensions, as a square of paper is folded to make three-dimensional forms in Origami. In music, polyphony might be seen as folding simple musical material in time to generate richer, more compelling forms. Conversely complexity can be made simple by a change of perspective. What appears complex as a projection in one or two dimensions is more easily comprehended when viewed in three dimensions and time. A flatlander perspective forces the folding up of phenomena, squeezing them into the more limited dimensionality of the perceivers senses. This suggests folding/unfolding as a method for creating an comprehending complexity. The cognition of music could be said to consist in the application of models or transforms by which a listener unfolds the information in sound. The composer constructs music by enfolding structure, the listener tries to unfold, to understand it, perhaps rediscovering the methods of the composer or perhaps just finding any model which allows him to enjoy it. What is interesting here is the duality of the folding and unfolding and that more than one model could work. If as psychology folding seems only a metaphor, in this music the metaphor is method. At all scales, from the micro-acoustic level of timbre to the level of rhythm and phrase, folding is the method. We listen to sound in one dimension, imagining music for ourselves. -jr