Modernism and the sound beyond music

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Progress? © Charles Thibo

50 years ago revolution was in the air. French students were demonstrating against a government they perceived as autocratic, German students against the Vietnam war and the overwhelming power of the United States in world affairs. Young people stood up against discrimination of all sorts, an antiquated sexual morality, they wanted to be seen on the “right” side of history. In Germany the growing awareness of the complicity of many ordinary Germans in the Nazi atrocities and the fact that many Nazi officials had remained on their post after 1945 added to the cultural clash between young and old.

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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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