Bernhard Lang
Monadology II: 'A New Don Quichotte'

Monadology II is the second in a new series of pieces developed from the preceding 'Difference-Repetition'-cycle, now comprising some thirty pieces and three music theater works.

It is based on the concept of musical cellular processings, derived from the philosophy of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz and Gilles Deleuze.
The term cellular is being applied both on the singular musical event, the atom of sound, and the structures built upon them. These macro structures constitute discrete loop-states, which are being differentiated all through the piece.
The individual cells are being organized in a grid which has been derived from the concept of cellular automata, a model in computer science used to simulate diverse kinds of growth and artificial life-forms. I did use cellular automata before in Difference/Repetition #9, Difference/Repetition #12 and in 'The Stars of Hunger', and, certainly in Monadology I.
The textures resulting there from are highly complex and demand a lot from the orchestra, producing an always shifting, sometimes chaotic flow, which always is following strictly determined rules of change.
The organization of time is, as said before, based on differentiated loops, granular processes dominating the most of them.
Dramaturgically Monadology II is a sequence of monadic blocks, communicating like separate clockworks moving inside the same timestream. Their connection is a simple vertical cinematic cut through the whole texture.

In Monadology II there is a definite preference of vertical order, being inspired mainly by the experimental film of Austrian experimental director Martin Arnold.

The title refers to the situation of the composer in the 21st century, having become a marginal person in the whole field of producing and reproducing music. So the titles of the 6 Movements are the following:

1 ….A certain sad Figure…
2 ..To fight against Windmills..
3 An Encounter with a Herd of Sheep….
4 Gossip and Slander
5 The Black Brothers
6 Defeat and Retreat

The piece was originally planned in a 50 minutes version, consisting of 12 sections, this is now the shorter version with 6 sections.
Presently I’m writing Monadology III 'Lamentatio/Metamorphosis' for 23 strings, and Monadology IV for 3 Percussionists is to follow.

Bernhard Lang, Vienna
16 June 2008