for Player Piano
Siegfried Koepf 1996 – 2004
Exhausted is one of my combinatorial compositions. My main interest in these works is to develop algorithmic methods of composition for dealing with the gigantic sets of material based on preliminary combinatorial considerations.
The combinatorial is the art or science of exhausting the possible through inclusive disjunctions. But only an exhausted person can exhaust the possible, because he has renounced all need, preference, goal, or signification. Only the exhausted person is sufficiently disinterested, sufficiently scrupulous. Indeed, he is obliged to replace his plans with tables and programs that are devoid of all meaning. For him, what matters is the order in which he does what he has to do, and in what combinations he does two things at the same time – when it is still necessary to do so, for nothing. [Gilles Deleuze, The Exhausted, in: Gilles Deleuze, Essays Critical and Clinical, University of Minnesota Press, 1997]
In the early 1990s, I began asking myself, whether it would make sense to start a composition from the the musical raw material of all possible chords (combinations of keys) on a piano, a set of ca. 3,9 × 1026 combinations in total.
Exhausted is one of three answers I have come up with so far.
From the program booklet of Computing Music IV – 50 Years of Computer Music, 2006.11.05, Cologne, Alte Feuerwache