From an interview with German composer Volker David Kirchner, reprinted at the Sign and Sight website:

KirchnerIn the late 1960s, I was still labelled an avant-gardist – a genuinely unpleasant, military term, which refers to the vanguard, so that I always ask myself: When is the real thing supposed to come along?

[Interviewer:] The pianist Susanne Duch has said that the most intense moments for her are the pauses between the tones. What does the composer have to say about this, having, ultimately, composed the tones themselves?

[Kirchner:] It’s true, the silences between the tones are quite decisive. And if I hadn’t composed those tones, there would be no silence, but instead only pauses. That’s the difference.

6 Responses to “Two quotes you’ve just gotta love”
  1. Daniel says:

    I would have said it differently: “And if I hadn’t composed those tones, there would be no pause, but instead only silence. That’s the difference.” – DG (But that’s just me)

  2. Tim says:

    I compose the silence, too. If I don’t, there will only be pauses.

  3. Stockhausen talks about ‘layers of silence’, that are peeled away to uncover another layer of silence. It’s a short film clip shown in the film “Modulations,” which is a history of electronic music.

    Hmm, pauses instead of silences.

  4. Daniel says:

    To me a “pause” implies forward motion, and all music moves forward in time. Whereas “silence” means stasis and a lack of motion. Space, where there is complete silence, is the best example.

  5. Steve Layton says:

    A pause is technical term for an action; silence is for almost everyone and everything an imagined ideal. And a pause doesn’t have to be silent.

  6. Thomas D says:

    Maybe it sounds different in German – ‘Pause’ in German is a rest (in many senses of the word). Whichever way round, it would still be a very dry piece of humour.

    Perhaps he means that even during the rests, one does not rest.