Piotr Szyhalski / Tractatus

New work from the Labor Camp Orchestra.

Above: Piotr Szyhalski’s hand-cut type for his new work, Tractatus (Reading from Wittgenstein). It is both a personal and sincere pleasure to share this latest effort by the Labor Camp Orchestra, best described through Piotr’s own words, “… a series of 12 sonic meditations on the range of issues explicated in Ludwig Wittgenstein’s ‘Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus’. As Wittgenstein wrestles with the boundaries of language and the world, the musical structures appear to resist or respond to intellectual pressure of these ideas.” (Please see his extended comments here.)

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Above: World (Track 01 of 12), from Tractatus (Reading from Wittgenstein). Translated: “The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.” Piotr comments: “The somewhat startling burst of sound at the beginning is a layering of the entire cycle. Meaning, that it contains a fragment from each composition in the whole set.
A totality of things, if you will. A way of seeing the whole thing ahead of you, at a
brief glance.”

It’s humbling to have played a small part in lending my voice to Wittgenstein’s original German text in this overwhelming and beautiful work, and it was an immense honor and joy to spend some time with Piotr recording the various selections. Having majored in Philosophy as an undergraduate, it was also a special joy to revisit one of the great works of thought, if not a little intimidating. Now, surrounded by Piotr’s masterful ‘sonic meditations’, it is even more humbling to rest within them.

While the entire work is now available online, it may be advisable to look for the CD release as Piotr has carefully overlapped the various readings and movements, although it is not hard to appreciate through the online links. Below are the official credits for the piece, note the viola and violin contributions from Ava Szychalski, with additional voices by Pamela Johnson, and Lori Lewis.

Labor Camp Orchestra / Tractatus: Reading from Wittgenstein
All German texts in “Tractatus: Reading from Wittgenstein” come from “Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus” by Ludwig Wittgenstein. Additional textual elements (tracks 5, 11, 12) come from John Cage’s “Empty Words, Part III” lecture. Fragments of archival recordings from September 11, 2001 have been used in track 11. 

All instruments and voices by the Labor Camp Orchestra except: 

German voice by Erik Brandt (tracks 1-11). 
Additional voices by Pamela Johnson (tracks 5, 11, 12), 
Soprano Lori Lewis (track 5). 
Violin and viola by Ava Szychalski (track 6).

Written, performed and produced by the Labor Camp Orchestra.

Above: Detail of Piotr Szyhalski’s hand-cut type, simply remarkable.

Above: Detail from another Piotr Szyhalski’s hand-cut experiment. A thousand thanks, Piotr, for allowing these to be shared here!

10 Responses to “Piotr Szyhalski / Tractatus”

Recently lent my (German) voice to Labor Camp Orchestra, Tractatus: Readings from Wittgenstein. http://t.co/WqAYciI Enjoy! #geotypografika

Erik Brandt added these words on Sep 05 11 at 4:34 PM

Piotr Szyhalski / Tractatus http://t.co/fHOlcyI #Type #Typography

Graphic Design, Type added these words on Sep 05 11 at 5:27 PM

WOW this is great. love the post.

AJ added these words on Sep 07 11 at 7:11 PM

So glad you enjoyed it, AJ. Special thanks to Piotr for this.

Erik Brandt added these words on Sep 07 11 at 7:48 PM

Too Cool!

Mitch Green added these words on Sep 14 11 at 6:04 PM

Miss you, Mitch!

Erik Brandt added these words on Sep 14 11 at 6:57 PM


Chris Burns added these words on Nov 13 11 at 9:18 PM

Piotr Szyhalski / Erik Brandt
It is a power combination.

Chris Burns added these words on Nov 13 11 at 9:20 PM

Thanks, Chris. I am just a voice here, Piotr is the man.

Erik Brandt added these words on Nov 14 11 at 11:25 AM

@CLUB(neg) – -http://geotypografika.com/2011/09/05/piotr-szyhalski-tractatus/; (NIET!) incHH ✖ bh (%plazma!) n(o)T _____Op T_T ?

added these words on Dec 17 11 at 5:00 PM

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