Beyond the sky, beyond the spatial curve

The new dimension © Charles Thibo

Into the blue – into the unknown. The new dimension of contemporary classical music. Making sense of sounds and series of sounds. Sound shapes, sound spaces, sound surfaces. A curve – Rebecca Saunders’s composition for chamber orchestra “Into the Blue” makes me think of curves. Space is curved, and the beginning of this 13-minute-piece sounds like solitary voices in outer space, foolish, alluring – come to me, play with me. If we take this music back to earth, the setting could be a jungle with exotic birds, flirting, singing, piping, trilling.

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Change of perspectives

Turning the page. © Charles Thibo

A meditative piano piece. Minimalist music. “Auf einem anderen Blatt” – on another page. The German expression that gave this piece its title invites to change the perspective. While listening to it my mind started wandering: changing the perspective, being flexible, giving the other the right to have a different view than myself. Empathy, putting myself in someone else’s shoes, feeling how he feels – how difficult that is at times. “Auf einem anderen Blatt” also refers in German to the unsaid, often opposed to what has been said or written. Yes, but…

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Opening a benign Pandora’s Box

Feel the buzz! © Charles Thibo

Is this the echo of the Big Bang? A train rumbling down a tunnel? A not-too-well oiled machine? No, it’s not. It is… Rebecca Saunders. The UK composer is exploring unfamiliar realms of sound and she walks here at least partly in the footsteps of her teacher Wolfgang Rihm. Now, I am aware that the Neue Musik puts off some of you, the readers of this blog. However I listened to a few compositions of Mrs. Saunders and one struck me as a box of multiple surprises, a kind of benign Pandora’s Box. It merits a little attention, and be reassured, we will return to the more familiar classical music in no time at all. This is just a lovely escape into modernity!

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