Unfinished Pieces is a work in progress, a cycle of compositions for piano solo.
Unfinished Pieces No. 1 is the first one in this new cycle and when I began to compose it,
I had just listened to Giacinto Scelsi’s piano piece “Un Adieu”, with its beautiful dark chords. In this moment, the presence of “Un Adieu” certainly coloured the way I paced the harmonic terrain.
Composition and Performance: Philipp Enders
Recorded on November 1, 2020 at home in Eymoutiers, France.
The unfinished as the unresolved, the intentionally left blank, the open end.
The unresolved: a cadence that asks for resolution. But the final chord never comes. A pattern in which one iteration is incomplete.
The intentionally left blank: drawing or painting with certain areas left empty or sketchy (with a line that differs of the rest), whereas other parts are fully worked, detailed, refined.
The open end: a discussion that seeks for a conclusion, in which the involved despite their contrary standpoints share a passion for not giving in. When we think the one we addressed already understood what we were about to say so we just skip the rest of our sentence. A subtle feeling, an unconscious expectation for something to conclude, but then it just
The unfinished as imperfection, as the left aside, the rested.
Imperfection as something unachieved: think of something so precise and refined that you tend to say this is perfect, but then you notice that just one detail is off (like a crooked line in an architect’s drawing?) and you cannot but understand this as a mistake. In order to be finished, the mistake should have been corrected. However, in art or craftsmanship there are many moments where a correction of a mistake is impossible. This imperfection produces nuances. They appear often non- intentionally, but not exclusively. An intentional imperfection exists for instance in ancient rug making. Here we see the true personality of the rugmaker. She “could” do it perfectly but she “chose” not to. […] The rugmaker’s skill is going to be judged not only by her formal interpretation of tradition, but also by her ability to make bold and courageous moves.*
The left aside, the rested: giving time to a work so that by the time passing a metamorphosis of something unfinished to something finished has happened. Without that any intervention takes place, things resolve due to the fact that the work undergoes a period of rest; and so the relation of its maker to it as well. Distancing by stepping back, looking again to looking anew on the left aside.
* Bunita Marcus. The Square Knot: A Memoir. In: Seán Kissane (Ed.). Vertical Thoughts – Morton Feldman and the visual arts, p.201, Irish Museum of Modern Art, 2010.
(Excerpts from the book “N” by Philipp Enders, 2020, p. 59, 92, 93.)