Music is the interpenetration of sound and space through time.
Hearing is the only sense that does not sleep. It begins before birth and even continues for a brief time after death. It is immersive and unstoppable.
Sound is inherently spatial. Sometimes even contradicting sight, which reflects surface and shape, hearing surveys the interior — whether of space, material or object. Nothing reveals interior content more honestly than sound. Tap on a wall or a melon to reveal what cannot be seen beyond the surface.
Inhabiting space through time is the native condition of music. Erik Satie’s Musique d’ameublement (Furniture Music) satirized the false conception of music as immaterial or passive. John Cage demonstrated that by intently listening, nothingness is not empty, and emptiness is not nothing.
Back in the 18th century, Ernst Chladni discovered how sounds force space to conform to their shaping. Reversing that process, Alvin Lucier’s I Am Sitting in a Room gradually transformed his own voice into that of the space itself.
Witold Lutoslawski likened his compositions to urban planning. Through the “magic charm” of non-retrogradable inversions and rhythmic cycles, Olivier Messiaen claimed to transmute time itself into space.
While drawing on ancient Greek mythology and philosophers, Iannis Xenakis structured compositions according to more contemporary scientific theories and methods of measurement, to make aurally manifest the nature of the world.
Method is useful only when shining through it is the light and resonance of inspiration. Language. Vocabulary. Form. Scale. Technique. Gesture. “Architectonics of Music” seeks resonances and new inspirations from those points where the disciplines and ideas of music and architecture interpenetrate.
— Raphael Mostel, 2013