The Logothetis Project
Lectures and Publications

24th Feb 2006 Liszt Academy, Budapest

The Death of Writing Before Music

Can composition be about more than the transmission of a 'sonic idea' from the composer's mind, via transparent performers, to the listeners' ears?

Examining both some of the earliest incursions of writing into music, at the Abbey of St. Gall in the ninth century, and some of the scores in the twentieth century art tradition which push the concept of a score to its limits in the light of this question provides a new vantage point from which notation can be seen as a part, rather than the source, of a living musical tradition - the western tradition of musical 'works'.

 

15th May 2006 Dartington College of Arts, Devon

The Third Viennese School

Examining parallels between the works of the two Austrian composers Roman Haubenstock-Ramati (1919 - 1994) and Anestis Logothetis (1921 - 1994), one becomes aware of a common ground – an intense investigative aesthetic dealing with issues of writing and identity in the composed musical work.

November 2008

Anestis Logothetis: A biographical note
In Sauer, Theresa, ed., Notations21: an anthology of innovative musical notation, New York: Mark Batty 2008

 

22nd April 2009 CETT, Central School of Music and Drama, University of London

Articulating Noise and the Breakdown of the Interpretative Order
Paper Presentation at Theatre Noise International Conference

In The Languages of Art (1976), Nelson Goodman defined the features of a notational scheme which are necessary for it to function as part of a symbol system – a system whose notation refers directly and precisely to its corresponding subject matter. Though there is much that is counter-intuitive about Goodman’s specifications, his research demonstrates that any system of musical notation defines its vocabulary of ‘musical’ sounds and processes, and can only make use of sounds, and concepts of sound, from within that system. The sonic other – noise – lies outside the arena of prescriptive notation. The composer who wishes to work with sound in all its richness must either work with recorded sound or re-consider the roles of composer, interpreter and score. Taking analytical cues from Derrida, Gadamer and C. S. Pierce, among others, it is possible to re-evaluate the work of Anestis Logothetis (1921 - 1993) as a creative and perceptive response to the problems of sound and notation. Over a period of more than 40 years he developed a system of notation and practice of interpretation which, in expanding the sphere of permitted sound, brought to the fore the matter of interpretative gathering around a score which might otherwise pass unobserved. His oeuvre of more than 100 beautifully drawn scores and considerable polemical writing on sound and interpretation reveal an aesthetic which permits an expansion of the sonic vocabulary, makes possible greater focus on sonic nuance and retains the faithful reading whilst encouraging a greater stress upon the autonomy and independent musical practice of the performer. This seminar attempts to lay out the landscape of Logothetis’ work and explain its relevance to contemporary anxieties and curiosity about noise and identity. It will draw upon my own experience of the work as an interpreting performer and continuing research into, and translation from, his theoretical writings on music.

 

12th February 2010 ICCMR, University of Plymouth

Articulating Noise and the Breakdown of the Interpretative Order

More info

January 2011

Anestis Logothetis: Permutationen (1957) for clarinet and percussion
Composer's notes: English version (Athens: Hellenic Music Centre 2010)

June 2012

Interpreting Logothetis' Scores with Contemporary Technological Resources
Paper presentation at Tribute to Anestis Logothetis, Onassis Cultural Centre,
Athens, June 8/9 2012