Webern´s serialism potentialy opened the new musical territory. But very soon it was said to be inaccessible. Because, its formal structure became the main body of all the new compositions. That is to say, all the works were only about the door to the new territory, resulting in music with no colors, no emotions. To solve it, some composers started to experiment with the real time acceleration to detach the score from the sound perception. Webernian series as the smallest units were replaced by Ligeti’ s micropolyphony. But it was worn away very soon. Therefore Ferneyhough increased the vertical density not only of time, but also the space.
Brian Ferneyhough describes the “tension-field between tempo and meter” as the central idea of his work Carceri d’Invenzione III. Simply formulated, the piece could be described as a single process, in which the structurally significant events (here called “trigger impulses” and always played by at least one of the percussion instruments) gradually penetrate more and more deeply into the musical surface and eventually dissolve into the surrounding texture, such that the sharp textural contrasts at the beginning become a relatively constant flow idea of his work…
The music of Brian Ferneyhough has often been thought of in terms of its complex rhythmic structure and the extreme technical demands that it places upon the performer. However, as Jonathan Harvey assessed in his Foreword to Ferneyhough’s Collected Writings “most listeners are rarely totally lost, despite the difficulties on the micro level.” For as Harvey expresses “Ferneyhough’s subjectivity is palpably present: the music is emotional.” But what generates this emotional presence in his music and why is it so difficult to understand, trace or grasp? As Harvey continues,”[Ferneyhough’s music] is sometimes developed to a point where it seems to go beyond itself. The speed with which different expressivenesses follow each other, and the density with which they superimpose vertically, are so great that a sort of overload can occur, one which transcends the restlessness of arousal, like a film run through at ten times the proper speed.”
Ligeti´s and Ferneyhough´s approaches are very interesting and useful. However I still believe, that it is possible to access the new territory by opening the Webernian series from inside. Therefore I am studying Messiaen/Boulez to get to the bottom differently from Hegel, Heidegger, Adorno – via the coevolution of (Gauss, Riemann, Weierstrass, Dedekind, Cantor, Frege, Hilbert) and (Kant, Cassirer, Wittgenstein, Carnap, Tarski, Church, Tichý).