Filling the blank with nocturnal metamorphoses

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Harmony? © Charles Thibo

This is about as far away from the traditional string quartet as you can possibly conceive: One continuous movement of 17 sections. Each has a different tempo, a different mood and yes, each has a different drama to tell. Each has its specific charm, and you need to lose yourself in this strange, but fascinating world of sound. Let go of everything, any prejudices or preconceived ideas. At the beginning there was a blank – and the music will fill this blank with reflections of your soul.

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A Danish prelude to the summer

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The summer shows its flags.  © Charles Thibo

More and more I start to appreciate very simple joys like a beautiful flower in our garden, a special pattern of the clouds in the sky, the play of light and shadows in the wood… Over the years, our sword flags have become a favourite object of contemplation of mine. Delicacy and fiery passion intertwined, the sweetness and the heat of the summer mirrored in a single plant. They are truly the queens of the garden at the moment of their blossoming.

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Polyphonic – polyrythmic – polyethnic

Structure and randomness. © Charles Thibo

Order. Disorder. Order within disorder. Structure versus randomness. Progress and aesthetics. Where are we heading to? Tenderness, a sad tenderness tiptoeing through the room. Gathering speed, growing stronger – dynamics! Then, silence. A nervous pulse, an attempt to get it right. Dark persuasion, balanced by a single voice, clear and forceful. The listener is clueless. Another hint: the name. Fanfares. By whom? For whom? But isn’t the king naked? A faltering message. A summer day after a thunderstorm, puddles on the road, a black sky in the east, a rainbow. Can you paint a rainbow with sound? Definitely. A trip. Darkness, anxiety. Is the traveler doomed? Why Warsaw?

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Floating through colors and over infinite surfaces

Ligeti's "Lontano" is a captivating sound experiment. © Charles Thibo
Ligeti’s “Lontano” is a captivating sound experiment. © Charles Thibo

Can you imagine a surface made of sound? Let’s try this: Imagine a black surface, indefinitely long, extending into space. Okay? Now, we move on: The surface is not just black, but lined with glowing pink, yellow, green and blue lines, running parallel to each other. Still with me? Now the lines starts vibrating, like strings on a guitar or a violin. Got it? Brilliant. Now you are ready for “Lontano” – a vibrating piece written by György Ligeti in 1967 and illustrating what the representatives of the “Neue Musik” define as Klangflächen and Klangfarben* – sound surfaces and sound colors.

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