Dominik KARSKI

Dominik Karski - In my work, I focus on the techniques of producing sound in order to find the material I look for. The physical aspect of performance - the contact between the musician and the instrument - is the primary source of the musical substance. By exploring the player-instrument relationship I’m able to work with sound-qualities directly - this is the central element in my approach, because sound-quality is the means through which energies and vibrations can be articulated, and through which the process can be established during composing and then experienced during listening.
The study of the instrumental techniques has led me to writing pieces in which I generally try to bring out a wide variety of sound-types out of each instrument. With this goal in mind, I am interested in developing musical materials that involve an intensity of playing, so that the presence a single instrument can express individuality through its generally active behavior. Because of this rather soloistic approach towards the instrumental writing, my works use mostly small numbers of instruments, usually between 1 and 5.
Besides exploring the instrumental properties, the essential notion in my music is that of process, and it is understood in a dual sense: composing as process, and process as the unfolding of sound that a work presents. What it means is that I do not pre-plan my pieces, but gradually establish the continuity from one moment to the next by identifying the trajectories that the material implies. Consequently, a piece presents a process that is a record of its formation (as opposed to a work being a realisation of a pre-planned design).
The most fundamental idea that I explore in my processes is instability. The instability results from interactions of multiple sound-qualities, both between two or more instruments, as well as within an individual instrument. The nature of instability is the outcome of the degree of difference between the sound-qualities that emerges during their interactions, as no two separate sound-qualities are exactly identical.
In exploring instability, it is important to find the smallest degree of difference, or the smallest step between any sounds or their components (for instance, tiny durational differences). The reason it is important is that instability is about change, and the more types of change can be articulated, the more in-depth the exploration of instability can become. Identifying the smallest sound-components opens up the possibilities of change to the maximum. In this way, instability can be maximised to the point of almost incoherence and disintegration - and this is indeed the ultimate goal: to find that “almost”.

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