Moments incommunicables

Year: 2011

Instrumentation: Guitar, Flute, Clarinet, Violin and Cello

First performance by Ruben Seroussi (Guitar) and "Meitar" ensemble - 01.03.2012, Clairmont Hall, Tel Aviv University (Israel)

Other performances:

  • Flavio Virzì (Gtr), Sonja Horlacher (Fl), Pablo Barragán Hernández (Cl), Alessio Pianelli (Vcl), Orsolya Sepsi (Vln) - 25.04.2012, Grosser Saal, Hochschule für Musik Basel (Switzerland)
  • G.E.R.M.I. Ensemble - 30.05.2012, Felt Music Club, Rome (Italy)
  • David Silva (Clarinet), Wiktor Kociuban (Cello), Flavio Virzì (Guitar), Sonja Horlacher (Flute), Orsolya Sepsi (Violin) - 22.06.2012, Grosser Saal, Hochschule für Musik Basel (Switzerland)
  • "Meitar" Ensemble and Nadav Lev - 29.10.2016, Contemporary music center, the Israeli conservatory, Tel Aviv (Israel)
  • Israel Contemporary Players - 23.11.2018, Jerusalem Music Center (Israel)
  • Israel Contemporary Players - 24.11.2018, Tel Aviv Museum (Israel)
  • Sound Plasma Ensemble - 21.09.2019, Great Guild Hall, Tallinn (Estonia)
  • Sound Plasma Ensemble - 03.11.2019, Acker Stadt Palast, Berlin (Germany)
  • Ruben Mattia Santorsa and Neuverband - 14.09.2023, Ackermannshof, Basel (Switzerland)


“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” (George Bernard Shaw)
This piece tries to confront the singularity of an experience and the inability to share and communicate it. The music composed tries to function as a soundtrack of the subconscious, to imagine how these dark places could “sound”. The piece begins with an ungraspable musical experience and later, the “actor” on stage tries to communicate this experience but gradually, the communication and its means become blurred. The abstraction and generalization that are necessary for communication flatten the original experience, leading in the end to a binary, meaningless act of communication.

Few years after writing this piece I found that quote in the beautiful book "Listening" by Jean-Luc Nancy:
"[...] That is why Wittgenstein, after discussing the borderline, or imaginary, experience of hearing a sound separated from its timbre, comes to take timbre as a privileged image of what he calls "private experience", consequently, experience that is not communicable. I would say that timbre is communication of the incommunicable: provided it is understood that the incommunicable is nothing other, in a perfectly logical way, that communication itself [...]"

(Or in the original french: "[...] C'est pourquoi Wittgenstein, après avoir proposé l'expérience limite, ou imaginaire, d'entendre un son séparé de son timbre, en vient à prendre le timbre pour image privilégiée de ce qu'il nomme l’”expérience privée" et, par conséquent, non communicable. Je dirais volontiers que le timbre est la communication de l'incommunicable: à la condition de bien entendu que l'incommunicable n'est rien d'autre, de manière parfaitement logique, que la communication même[...]")