Amplifying the concept of diagram with techniques of composition
Em: Actas do Colóquio “Écrire comme composer: le rôle des diagrammes"
Editor: Collège International de Philosophie, Paris
The background of this presentation is the philosophical debate around the concept of diagram. Two main lines of thought guide this proposal. Firstly, I assume that there are types and functions of diagrams, already implied in C. S. Peirce’s concept of diagram, that are yet to be unfolded – namely, the notions of multi-sensorial diagrams and their iconic (non-symbolic) functions. Secondly, I argue that techniques of musical composition offer us a rich repository of diagrammatic signs and functions that can be used to amplify the concept of diagram. The compositional techniques I use as amplifiers of the concept of diagram in this presentation come from the Brazilian composers Villa Lobos and Silvio Ferraz. In Villa Lobos’ technique of millimetrization, the visual diagram does not function as a symbolic representation nor as an overall plan, but rather as a productive motif, a device that introduces possibilities — therefore, aniconic function. In Ferraz’s compositional practices, the participation of schemas operating outside symbolic and representational regimes goes even beyond visual lines and mobilizes also gestures and acoustic elements that function as non-visual iconic diagrams. With this approach — that also relies on insights of Deleuze, Châtelet, and Mazzola —, nuances of the concept of diagram are unfolded by using compositional techniques as a point of view, and at the same time, philosophy of music will be offered an amplified concept of diagram capable of making the poietic movement of composition resonate louder.