Audience watching "King Kong", 1933
Audience watching "King Kong", 1933

Jan van de Putte — Cette agitation perpétuelle, cette turbulence sans but

[This Perennial Agitation, this Turbulence Without Purpose] Théophile Gautier

One of the subjects of this piece is our modern world in which everything is steadily accelerating at the same time as things seem increasingly to come to a standstill. This is a subject that the sociologist Hartmut Rosa has addressed in his book Acceleration. The Transformation of Temporal Structures in the Modern Age. In it, he describes a man who wakes at night with a start, drenched in sweat, because he has forgotten to answer an e-mail.

This is a world in which thoughtfulness – whether right or wrong – seems to lose its value and is replaced by people ‘surfing’ on the surface of things .(A. Baricco: The Barbarians)

The piece consists of two parts which are quite distinct, but merge into each other.

The first part is characterised by total turmoil and haste; it is full of extreme movement and energy. Its elements gradually increase in size and intricacy until they end up in a maniacal meaninglessness. This music cannot detach itself from its obsessive behaviour; it has got stuck and then, suddenly, does something completely unexpected. It is a kind of music that has become addicted to its own material, that wants to go faster and faster, that is already seized by the next thing before its current mode has come to an end, that keeps changing its mind or abruptly cancels something out, that is nervously in search of things and worried it might to be on the wrong track. A kind of music which suddenly forgets everything and obsessively and passionately just does any old thing.

This permanent restlessness is intensified by the insertion of external musical elements such as turning the page, looking around and walking about. These actions all take place during the concert – actions that we normally observe but ignore and that are not part of the discourse of the piece – at worst, they interfere. These initially meaningless elements of
daily life lose their innocence; gradually they acquire an expressive poetic quality, they increasingly participate in the musical discourse, take over the word or, to put it differently, they transform themselves into music… just as Thomas Bernhard makes small, unimportant things assume large proportions.

The music disappears and with it the last vestiges of reason and of dreams. And then we find ourselves in searching pages and whispered conversations rife with some of life’s primary passions, such as jealousy, gluttony, alcoholism… (the texts are taken from Theatre des Marionnettes by Edmond Duranty, 1860).

… and finally, a small light appears on the horizon, and everything changes …
—Jan van de Putte, 2018

 in Werke
8 November 2018
8.15 p.m.
Amsterdam, Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ Series Muziekgebouw Fury and Still UA

Beat Furrer — still
    — linea dell’orizzonte
Rebecca Saunders — fury II
Jan van de Putte — Cette agitation perpétuelle, cette turbulence sans but
World Premiere

Aleksander Gabryś, double bass
conductor: Bas Wiegers

Before the concert:

1.00 p.m.
Public dress rehearsal of Jan van de Putte's new work Cette agitation perpétuelle, cette turbulence sans but
The access to the public rehearsal is free. Registration is required, under:

7.15 p.m.
Introduction with Thea Derks

The composer Jan van de Putte on his new work:
Jan van de Putte — Cette agitation perpétuelle, cette turbulence sans but