Tourette
bande magnétique , flûte Paetzold
durée: 8'
2008

What at first appears to be a consistent, ordered structure, over time becomes something more like a veritable breakdown – this is how the course of Tourette for Paetzold contrabass recorder and tape might be described once one understands that the musical form is determined by the interplay between man (instrumentalist) and machine (tape). The rigid system in which man and machine move is disrupted and disturbed until the structure crumbles and enters into a new state. Inextricably bound together, musician and tape do not comment on one another but hamper the other’s free development. Compositionally calculated malfunctions pervade a process in which man and machine give cues: the performer triggers off some of the movements of the tape, whereas the machine sometimes supplies the musical phrases to be played by the instrumentalist. The interdependent, interlinked “partners” both seem driven by some strange compulsion, with the performer, for the most part, trying persistently to escape. Similar to the involuntary twitching of one’s limbs, Tourette is characterised by sudden, intermittent dynamic eruptions. However, what might be heard as a breakdown, reveals itself as a reinterpretation of “something missing”: the tics are re-evaluated in a positive way as attempts to escape or depart. That the performer eventually does not escape from the coercive system should not be seen as resignation or submission. Perhaps the next attempt to outwit the control systems will be successful.