by John MacCallum

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Faced with the impossibility of concatenating, they utter sentences that are interrupted, exhausted, come to a standstill. Even phrases they cannot formulate. A repetitive rhythm, a monotonous melody emerge and dominate the broken logical sequences, changing them into recurring, obsessive litanies. Finally, when that frugal musicality becomes exhausted in its turn, or simply does not succeed in becoming established on account of the pressure of silence, the melancholy person appears to stop cognizing as well as uttering, sinking into the blankness of asymbolia or the excess of unorderable cognitive chaos.

—Julia Kristeva, Black Sun: Depression and Melancholia.

blankness was written for and premiered at the 2008 MANCA festival in Nice, France as part of a collaboration between UC Berkeley, CNMAT, the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional de Nice, and CIRM.

For viola, vibraphone, and live electronics.


released January 18, 2019
Viola: Raphaël Chazal
Vibraphone: Romain Garcera
Electronics: John MacCallum



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