Sheherazade – Only smart women survive

Sheherazade painted by Sophie G. Anderson.

Sheherazade was a sex slave. She had no rights, not even the right to live. What kept her safe from her murderous husband was her intelligence and her imagination. Night after night she would tell Sultan Rashid a tale and thus live one more day. A smart woman countering a violent man – what a timely subject. What a timely composition. What a fantastic piece of music.

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Suspension

berio-wasserklavier
A meditation. © Charles Thibo

A silent park. A pond. Trees. A leaf floats in the water – suspended. Too heavy to stay on the surface, too light to sink to the ground. Suspended. A piano. A meditation. Water. A look into a mirror. The world reflected, suspended for a little over two minutes.

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Floating like dust – the sound of transcendence

takemitsu-corona_crossing
Crossing from darkness into light. © Charles Thibo
Corona I

The sun – a source of light,
A flaming crown,
A beacon at night.

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A democratic revolution – all notes are equal

Disharmony. © Charles Thibo

Use the twelve semitones of the chromatic scale* and consider each note just as important as any other – by combining the number 12 with a principle of democracy, equality, the Austrian composer Arnold Schönberg invented at the beginning of the 20th century a new form of musical harmony. A very crude summary of what is called the Twelve-tone technique, I agree. And since this sounds rather abstract, let’s listen to Schönberg’s music, which is much less abstract. In 1927 he wrote String Quartet No. 3 Op. 30. He did not indicate any tonality, and that’s what duodecaphony is about – equal treatment for all notes. There must not be any prevalent tonality!

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