- Michael Beil

The phases of creating Doppel can be followed by the audience during the performance. The piece is about playing the piano, however not as a nal conclusion of what the act of piano playing means but about the process of thinking about it. The piece is, therefore, not so much a fixed work, rather a documentation of the process of creation. 

The musical material used in Doppel is idiomatic for the piano: scales, passages, chords, and tone repetitions. In the beginning of the piece one can see how decisions about musical material are made and how two types of material are distributed between each pianist. In the course of the piece, the pianists do not only interpret the music notation that develops gradually, they also slip into a role. Each pianist has his/her own material and a task that transcends piano playing. 

The main visual aspect of Doppel is a result of this process. It is not the video but the pianists that noticeably depart from their usual way of acting in order to remind the audience of their presence and of what they are really doing. The video layers in Doppel signify only specific memories that occur when composing or listening to music. They remind us not only of the past and its effects, they also make it clear that in the synchronicity of multiple musical events during composing on the one hand and during listening on the other, lies a whole network of connotations and associations. 

My point of interest here is the moment in which an impression of music structured by the composer is deconstructed by the listener into its basic components. This way, the outcome for each listener may significantly differ from the initial intention of the composer. In addition, the perception can be more or less intuitive or intellectual and the resulting discrepancy would—in the field of linguistics—certainly be called a misunderstanding. Considering the fact that in verbal communication, a successful understanding between two people may be regarded as utopian, one should assume that in music, it is utterly impossible. Such dichotomy takes place in composed music if the composer does not work with very basic material and has to deal with this situation. In this context, the first question that arises is: what happens if the creation of a musical moment can be experienced only when deconstructed? And what happens to this communication process in the field of art, where the complexity of meanings or significations is presumed even if the artist or composer works with “meaningless” material or without any conceptual intention? 

The work is done by the listener and one may wonder how often it happens or whether this inversion in communication between the artist and the recipient has already become typical. 

Michael Beil