Dirge and Computation is born out of my passion to link diverse musical mindsets – one mindset consists of an improvised flow of musical expression and the other is its numeric analysis. Recurring sections characterized by a mournful, wailing expression of the shakuhachi alternate with active and upbeat motives in the koto constructed out of this lament. This exchange, in particular the music of the koto part, is formed of an analytical search for the essence of the dirge but suggests a forward motion.
Dirge and Computation is inspired by a new film by Theo Lipfert – Solving for X – which I was asked to score. The film offers fascinating insights into the work of a group of mathematicians dedicated to assisting human rights organizations in finding meaningful and correct ways of documenting and analyzing data about human rights violations leading us to a poignant conversation between the emotional and the intellectual parts of our humanity. Through a number of case studies from different parts of the world we learn about various statistical and logical problems and solutions born out of ever new variations of ghastly atrocities.
(Stefan Hakenberg, 2011)