When I was maybe 12 or 13 years old, I read
a short story about a man who was to be hanged. He mounted the scaffold;
the noose was placed around his neck; the flooring dropped out from under
him; he fell, and . . . the rope broke. Since he had survived his own
execution, he was instantly set free. His wife ran up and hugged him,
and they walked away from the scaffold together. The man went on to lead
a long and happy life, prospering and fathering a family. When, an old
man, he lay upon his deathbed at last, he was surrounded by family and
friends. . . And then the noose broke his neck and he died.
I have since been fascinated with this sort of temporal pocket, in which
years of experience can be folded into a fraction of a second. The temporality
of not even the rain is based on this model.
All the sound events of the piece evolve out of two groups of percussive
attacks – one at the very beginning, the other about a third of
the way through. As the resonance of the initial attack-group slowly fades
away, the music sinks into it, tracing something like a descent into its
tiniest elements. These then become increasingly animated, shifting and
evolving in sometimes unpredictable ways. The two halves of the piece
(following the two attack-groups) sketch similar gestures – descending
through layers of soundspace – the second moving more quickly, speaking
more emphatically, falling more drastically. And arriving, in the final
section of the piece, at something like the “heart of mystery.”
What it's about. The vast energy concealed within any object, the infinite
mystery beyond every surface. Perceiving this energy, piercing through
the world-as-surface, plunging through mysterious layers. Falling. Exploring
this endless, ungraspable energy.
not even the rain is entirely dependent on “the speaking
of the object”: objects speaking unknown languages. The experience
of composing it was not one of imposing my will upon the sounds to make
them express something I feel, but rather one of getting out of the way.
Of allowing something to come into being through me. Of being surpassed.
All the sounds were generated by sound processing programs I wrote in
Max/MSP. The music was composed and spatialized in 8 channels using Pro
Tools at the studio Musiques et Recherches [Ohain, Belgium].
not even the rain was a finalist in the contest Città
di Udine 2002.