Barrier, Stop for Inspection
- Amnon Wolman
My thoughts and emotions about where I live (Israel) and where I work (Jerusalem) are made of memories, familiarities, smells, sounds, light, and tastes. They are personal and do not represent anyone but myself. In cultural terms, I am a member of several sociocultural groups; the cultural content that was formed through the interaction within any of these groups is important for me, and my work often relates to them. Some but not all of these groups also have a political side to them, and some in fact participate in the political power structure. Since I am a member of several groups, my political affiliations are complex and revolve mostly around ideas and convictions. None of these groups, to my mind, carry any kind of geographical meaning. Despite the fact that culture does, at times, espouse relationships to the physical world and to a place, this place, in my mind, is imaginary and an idea. The actual distribution of space among people is not, to my mind, connected to cultural discussions, and entities.
The piece attempts to present the intersection between truth, memory, and their social place in the world of music. Or it may raise a question: Does a piece of music convey emotional meaning that is different than those practiced by its author? Is it possible that a piece by Carlo Gesualdo, the sixteenth-century Italian composer who murdered his wife, can convey eternal life-affirming positive emotions, despite his own thoughts of murder? Do we remember Gesualdo when we hear his music? Or is his music, when it is played now, alive and not a memory at all? Does it convey current emotions and ideas that have nothing to do with the sixteenth century? As with all of my works, my aim is to raise questions alongside an unexplained emotional narrative created with sounds, pitch relationships, rhythms, and other sensations that outline a personal progress of time. It is important to me that my music also conveys ideas and is not only about pleasure.
The names of my pieces are taken mostly from road signs. They are usually attached to a piece after it is nearly completed, and are intended to serve as an impetus for the listener to form diverse personal connections and ideas, and perhaps distance my own intentions from the actual stuff conveyed by the piece.
Clocks may or may not appear in this new work. Clocks are the most obvious way we show and follow our own sensations of time. A unified clock is a fairly recent phenomenon, dating back to the nineteenth century. In some of my video works I use clocks to measure different sensations of time, often side by side.
But these are my ideas; the piece will probably convey other emotions and ideas for you.
The text in the work, by the composer, was translated by Halina Cieplińska