A Strange Loop: Overture for Clowns

for Ensemble and live-electronic

A strange loop is an example of self-referentiality where the initial object is affected or even damaged. In this context, a paradox can arise.

In his book »I Am a Strange Loop« (2007), Pulitzer Prize-winning cognitive scientist Douglas Hofstadter defines the »I« as a product of consciousness through a strange loop:

Deep down, a human brain is a chaotic seething soup of particles, on a higher level it is a jungle of neurons, and on a yet higher level it is a network of abstractions that we call »symbols«. The most central and complex symbol in your brain or mine is the one we both call »I«. An »I« is a strange loop in a brain where symbolic and physical levels feed back into each other and flip causality upside down, with symbols seeming to have free will and to have gained the paradoxical ability to push particles around, rather than the reverse.

This piece is the first of a series that attempts to demonstrate our thought process interacting with the physical movements of our body. How can the abstraction of a self-referentiality in our thought process distance us from reality and create an ego in a strange loop?

Performed by Ensemble KNM Berlin - 28.04.2022

Rebecca Lenton, Alto flute

Horia Dumitrache, Contrabass Clarinet

Cosima Gerhardt, Cello

Kirstin Maria Pientka, Viola

Sina Fani Sani, live-electronic