Conversations in Chaos (Booklet + Wav)




The main reason why I created this work has to do with how improvising musicians listen to each other. I think it’s a nuanced and subtle thing that’s generally behind the curtains. I’m talking about moments during a concert, like during a solo. I’m also talking about musicians listening to each other out of the bandstand while talking about ideas, approaches, or any other topic for that matter. I believe how they talk and listen is mirrored in how they play together. This is inspiring for me to the point that it makes me ask questions. What if more people listen to each other as improvising musicians do? Do musicians have a role in society to unveil how listening works for them? That’s what the word Conversations makes me think.


Chaos then is where the listening is supposed to take place. To me, the word chaos has more to do with how complex systems work -like our society, and economy- than the daily used negative connotations. You may have heard of “The Butterfly Effect” before. A butterfly’s wings could stir up enough air molecules that could lead to the formation of weather systems in faraway lands. This sounds like a myth, but it is proven mathematically by researchers (Edward N. Lorenz’s experiments with an IBM computer in 1961) that tiny fluctuations in inital conditions could lead to changes in the long term in complex systems. My belief is that our social systems are as chaotic as weather dynamics and a person’s individual actions could cause ripples in the surrounding environment equivalent to the small fluctuations a butterfly could supposedly create in the weather. Conversations in Chaos then is an idea and an action I’d like to introduce to my surroundings.


Thanks for listening.

Engin Özşahin, November 2022