Stefano Lombardi Vallauri

The Composition of Experience (and its Notation) in the Musical-Holistic Art of Dario Buccino

Nowadays music is no longer exclusively a performance art: as in the case of electronic music (both experimental and popular), it can also be produced completely by means of technology, without the live bodily action of an instrumentalist. With respect to this aesthetic paradigm, the Italian composer Dario Buccino (Rome, 1968) does exactly the opposite, creating a music which is even hyper-performative, in that it is composed with the same highest pretensions as much in the aspect of the body actions required to make it sound as in the aspect of the sound itself. To this end he has developed an original notation system, with many graphical ad hoc solutions, where musical symbols are integrated with indications about the proprioceptive attitude and the physical actions of the performer (often kindred to those of experimental theatre, dance, and body art), above all about the experiences to be felt in playing. In this sense Buccino goes farther along the way of Karlheinz Stockhausen's “intuitive music” (about 1968-70), Dieter Schnebel's Maulwerke (1968-74, in progress), Helmut Lachenmann's “musique concrète instrumentale”, and radicalises an approach which instead is typical of other musical genres (both traditional and popular), where form at all levels arises in composition (often extemporaneous) from the singular physical relationship of the interpreter with her own instrument.

Analysis must cope with all this, first by understanding a peculiar notation system in its own terms, so as to evaluate its pertinence and necessity, also with respect to its historical precedents and analogous cases; then by studying a music which is not only music, but integrates itself in a more general kind of performance art; finally, most importantly, by finding a way to annex to the scientific domain not only the sound and the structure of music, but also the inner experiences of which, in this aesthetically exceptional case, it is truly composed.