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S. Lavrova

Spatial gesture in music by Beat Furrer

The article is devoted to the concept of spatial gesture. In the context of defining the essence of this concept, terminology from the field of electro-acoustic music is given, particularly, the classification of spatial gestures by Dennis Smalley. In the process of analysis, the author outlines the continuity of the concepts of sound space and temporal structures: from Stockhausen, through the theory of “Sound Types of New Music” by Helmut Lachenmann to the projection of these ideas in the representation of sound space in the music of Austrian composer Beat Furrer. The work with space has become a fundamental concept for him. Spatial gestures constituted the essence of Furrer’s musical material. The author of the article proposes a special term that makes it possible to see, in the totality of spatial gestures, the type of structuring associated with tradition – “spatial melody”. The idea of “spatial melody” continues the line from Schoenberg’s Klangfarbenmelodie, through Lachenmann’s “structural melody” to Furrer’s “spatial melody”. Structuring with the Zeitnetz temporal grid mechanism finds an analogy with Furrer’s spatial disposition of gestures. The principles of interaction of spatial gestures, perfected in Furrer’s instrumental compositions, are further developed in his own larger forms – in operas. The composer's creative process as a whole is characterized by the “elaboration” of the elements he created in instrumental compositions, followed by the use of similar methods of spatial dramaturgy and material in his own operas, where they appear in a new quality. The conclusion of the study is that the formation of imagery in Furrer’s music is being thematically relatable to the fine arts and poetry: in the process of verbalization, Furrer’s music acquires visualized forms.

Key words

sound space, spatial gesture, composer Beat Furrer, post-serialism, spatial melody.

For citation

Lavrova S. Spatial gesture in music by Beat Furrer // South-Russian Musical Anthology. 2022. No. 1. Pp. 63–73.