Recycling tradition

Projects in this stream probe the use, “abuse” and significance of traditional elements in today’s music performance.

At points of convection, the history of western music tradition shows affinity for integrating elements of distant music traditions to invigorate a worn-out status quo. Such exotic distance can be real or cultural, as well as a temporal one, such as a historic tradition. There is a strong analogy with natural cycle of decomposition and re-synthesis, therefore I use the word recycling for the process in an entirely neutral way, without any inference to values and validation of the involved music material.  Ajtony Csaba sees variation, the processing of a material from the same or related culture as the opposite of recycling.

            While composers of the 18th to 20th century recycled material through integration in the composition, as the grip of the adornian haste for authenticity loosened on the musicians, more intricate recycling techniques appeared. Recycling historic material took new dimensions with the instrumentation and completion of unfinished historic material. Stravinsky’s Pulcinella, Berio’s Turandot-ending and Schubert Rendering, Zender’s Winterreise, Czernowin’s Zaïde/Adama and Jarrell’s Debussy Préludes are just a few examples of the invigorated historic recycling.

Between 2007 and 2011, Ajtony Csaba undertook several trips to immerse himself in environments that offer the experience of an autonomous music tradition, musical microclimates harbouring the intimate evolution of music history’s stray drops and dashes. Trips to West Tibet, Transylvania, Cormorant Island, Georgia and Castile and León initiated a critical dialogue with the phenomena of music tradition, and led to a series of dramaturgical and compositional considerations that link isolated cells of disconnected and incubated material in a larger form.