SIGNUM saxophone quartet | John Psathas: Connectome
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John Psathas: Connectome

Dear friends,
happy new year! We hope you had nice time with your families and beloved ones! We are back on track and on 4th January we will premiere the piece of John Psathas  at Festspiele Mecklenburg- Vorpommern with wonderful Alexej Gerassimez.
The concert will take place in Ulrichshusen.
Few notes from Composer about the piece:

The new piece is called CONNECTOME
(a connectome (/kəˈnɛktoʊm/) is a comprehensive map of neural connections in the brain, and may be thought of as its „wiring diagram“. More broadly, a connectome would include the mapping of all neural connections within an organism’s nervous system.

The piece is in three parts. Each part has its own title and concept, and each part represents a different idea of the kind of future we might have as a species.

Part 1 Pashupatastra
(From the Mahabharata)… he asked for the sacred and deadly weapon Pashupatastra so that neither man or god could prevail over him.  Yet Shiva warns him of Pashupatastra’s powers: Arjuna will not be able to dispose of the weapon or give it back, nor recall the horrible weapon once he wields it.  It has the power to destroy the world.

Part 2 Farewell to the Flesh
This part is a response to the increasing likelihood that we will one day make scans of the neural connections in our brains and nervous systems that are so accurate and complete, we will exist after death as immortal digital consciousness. I thought about this a lot (and have read books about it) and had so many questions;

• When I am code will I still feel emotion? If my emotions are mostly chemical reactions, with no chemicals in software, how will I ever make a choice?
• Will I still be able to laugh, or cry?
• Will I feel fear, empathy, lust, anticipation, disappointment?
• Will I believe I am experiencing touch, taste, smell, hearing?
• Will someone be able to edit me?
• What will life be like if I am no longer flesh and blood? Will it be life?
• Will I be I or will I be AI?

I believe we will all profoundly miss being physical, sensual, beings, and we will be changed into something unrecognizable by that transition. So Part Two is an elegy, a farewell to the flesh.

Part 3 Rom in Space
When we imagine space travel it’s common to think of astronauts and scientists, white space suits, and a lot of shining technology. But I started thinking much further ahead, when all of us get into space. I imagined gypsies (Rom) with the freedom to roam anywhere, and the kind of energy they (and all the rest of us) will bring to the stars. (nb – at one point in Part 3 our Rom space-traveller drops out of hyperspace for a brief romantic liaison….)

We feel truly honored and excited about premiering the piece and giving birth to a new baby! We thanks John Psathas and Festspiele Mecklenburg- Vorpommern for their kind help at commisioning the piece.

Your SIGNUM boys

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