A New Contemporary
Italian, Medieval Latin
Antenati is a compositional practice developed in 2018 by Devin Greenwood and Gideon Crevoshay. In contrast to techniques where composition takes place principally on paper and in the mind, antenati is the result of an artist’s bodily engagement with the technique according to a set of pre-defined parameters. The goal of the practice is to establish— by way of prolonged, focused states— a “trialogue” between temporally displaced voices so that a single polyphonic expression emerges. Said to be con gli antenati (with the ancestors), the results are non-imitative and fully-formed musical arrangements which can be orchestrated, re-structured or synthesized in whatever way the artist chooses in order to create new work.
When a musician is first starting out, the idea of making original music is often perceived as mysterious and difficult. The most conventional roadmap sets out a strategy of emulating works by past masters and respected peers. If by some improbable fortune the artist is able to persist and develop, they slowly begin to express themselves and take their place in the chorus of human voices.
Antenati is an alternative roadmap. It does not look to society or to the past for resonance, rather the Anenati practice relies upon increasing familiarity with one's own instincts and the experience of total emotional certainty. As a result, the artist begins building a vocabulary of their own before any milestones of composition have begun taking place such as their first complete work.
The Antenati practice creates the experience of collaboration within a trinary unit of complete trust and freedom in which musical expression in its purest form may be experienced and structured into whatever form the artist so chooses. The Antenati practice generates musical dynamism that corresponds to the bodily metabolism of the artist, or to their unconscious preferences rather than their conscious preferences.
Antenati is not dependent on concepts of musical, not musical, correct, incorrect or stylistic conceptions such as genre. It is a way to both facilitate and structure personal musical energy regardless of skill level, instrument used or musical knowledge. It only requires the ability to audiate and the willingness to enter the darkness of uncertainty.
Antenati is a compositional practice, not a style of music, though it could be said that every artist who practices Antenati is creating their own stylistic distinction, evolving it from their bodily biases and strengths, from their unconscious desires and the choices of their ancestors.
With the dissolution of its economic engine since the 1980s and 90s, music has lost its once central place in human culture. Successful artists are both siloed within more narrowed social networks and silhouetted against the pressing existential concerns of our time— climate change, politics and technology.
Antenati pierces all three of these concerns.
It formally recalls natural processes such as flocking behaviors, weather patterns, the movements of molecules. It commands the electrical, raw energy of the natural world because it flows directly from human nature. It does not arise out of the mind, but out of the body’s metabolism. It's not of the constructed world, but of the emergent world.
It contains within its very structure a philosophy of political economy. It’s inherently anti-fascistic because it requires the subjugation of the ego for the advancement of the whole in order to proceed. Its framework is communitarian.
It's organic generative music requiring a person to react within a bounded system and submit their bodies to the process. It nearly recalls music made with technology because it doesn't rely upon precedent, style or convention. It is analog algorithmic music.
Antenati contains the potential to become music that is newly relevant for the next stages of human cultural evolution.
It’s a return to the way humans made music before the ascendance of the Western Eye, from before the eye conquered the ear, from before musical notation became the last word, from before harmony and equal temperament. Antenati Liberi even transcends the three principles and the white noise of Antenati Seriale and deals directly with mathematical ratios that predate the twelve-tone scale. Superstructures is an example of Antenati Liberi.
When the three move as one, the Antenati are speaking.