8 years ago

Volume 9 Issue 3 - November 2003

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sion before the composer

sion before the composer even 9ther, and they're both part of our you talk about magic, touches it. Each tam-tam, each entertainment service. For every again you're at the problem of entertainment. We harp, has an idyllic view and aura ·vulnerable person, for anyone who before the composer does any- is unprotected, serenity is m~ch should be rational, the rational is helping us, but thing. Making the sounds empty more touching than a harlequin or of all the connotations that fill them a messiah. I love Don Quixote, we shouldn't forget the is a very deep idea. and I believe in the little girl with transcendental, which is the matches. The story of this lit~ the ,crucial point of art. STEENHUISEN: How will the tie girl, just trying to live, to find Without it, it doesn't deserve the word art. elements of social critique transfer her own way; who sees a vision when you have your· music per- in the light of the matches and then STEENHUISEN: It has formed in North America? dies, is rriuch more provocative been said that your music LACHENMANN: We shouldn't than a story that starts out to make is "negative". Do you talk too much about social critique. a better world. That you can leave agree? If a piece is authentic, it's automat- to the pop artists. People can pay ically a critique of our standardized them for that 1 and think it is wonculture, without even the intention derful or whatever, but that in the ten see myself described LACHENMANN: I of­ of being. Our culture is full of ·end, that is conimerciai music. as a composer who is standardized elements. A compos- STEENHUISEN: You've written against, who is destructive, refusing. But to . er is not a missionary. A compos~ and lectured extensively on your er is not a prophet. A composer mU.sic, while at the same time, adis not John the Baptist, who made mit that your trust in language is you have to remove what view things more clearly, With New Music Concerts' Robert Aitken, 1982 critiques to the people, saying is preventing you from · "You are all sinners". This politi- receding. cal aspect is an illusion. If I LACHENMANN: I can talk seeing. Therefore, each decision beauty is the word intensity. thought music was a higher mes- with a student, and when they also has a negative component. search for this in music. But rejection? I'm allergic to sage, then I think I must give want to know something, then I'm some sort of political message, of using intellectual means to 'defreedom, ofliberty. My teacher scribe the music. But we know e-Verything. Did Schoenberg reject tonality be­ STEENHUISEN: That's part of the idea that my music is rejection. cause he made atonal music? No. was Luigi Nono, a communist. exactly that the intellect is only one LACHENMANN: Yes. Tonality ·He was going with what h~ had He always had the hope of touch- part of our mind, and one very was something that wasn't rejected, learned from tradition. The whole ing people, and changing their limited part. I try to make a preconsciousness. I think art does cise definition of that which can be to find riew antenna~ !n .ourselves, ing on from tradition by provoca- but had to be overcome. We have direction of occidental music is go- such things, bu.t the composer who de.fined by language, to keep the to listen more, an~ this is a wonder- tion. Provoking humankind to wants to manipulate the spirit, or mind free for what cannot be exconscience of another will always pressed by language. my music has as much beauty as this is beautiful this is serene, and ful adventure of discovery. For me, new experiences. This is human, fail. It's not possible. In Toronto STEENHUISEN: The irrational? any conventioTI?1 music'. ma~be it requires the p~rticipation of the once I listened to the Sunday more. Beauty 1s a precious idea. listener in this adventure. Provowant to liberate this term from the cation in this sense is not a nega- morning TV evangelists. That is / LACHENMANN: Exactly. The entertainment. An artist should irrational, the transcendental, all the standardized categories. - tive thing. Society's laziness crenot be that. things we can't define. It's impos- I'll give you ~ little example. I ates these polemical situations. .If he's sensitive about his musi- sible. I speak about the means I · used to teach children, and I p(e- I've had such scandals because of cal, structural, material purity, then use. ii) composition, why I use sented them the musi~ of Sto_ck- these thoughts, where people were whatever he does shall have such them, I try to analyze the cultural hausen, etc . . They said _tha,t it_ . angry because, on the one hand an effect of touching people. But situation in which we're living and wasn't beautiful, they d1~n t like it. they Jove pmsk, and this was a . through the other side, which he are formed by. I try to make a I asked them what they liked, what music they couldn't follow, they doesn't control. Each fugue or diagnosis of all those things, then I they thought was beautiful, and they were Jost, and on the other hand, invention of Johann Sebastian try to explain structure, and the first hesitantly ·named some pcip mu- they preferred a comfortable way Bach was not done to. make the construction, because composing is sic. The next wee_k, I wen~ there of thinking about music. Maybe world better, but it did make the about describing time, with the and brought two p1_ctures with me. they need such comfort, because world better, by switching in a help of sounds, or vice-versa. One w~ an attracu~e photograph of they are full of fear in everyday certain way, because it was one of These are totally practical probthe documents of totally concentrat- !ems, like an architect has, or an other was a drawing by AI?recht phes. Going to an opera or conthe movie star Sophia Lor.en. The life, there are so many catastro- , ed, totally free human spirit. Not , engineer, but we speak abou.t it not Diirer, who had drawn~ picture of cert hall, they don't want to be more, not less. tQ make a design or a construction his mother: very old, with a long .confused. But I think in that situano~e, and bi_tter looking face. ·. She tion, you shouldn't have fear of I made an opera which has a · for itself, because the elements social critique story (H!ffiS Chris- we're working with are full of sigtiah Andersen's The Little Match nifications. I try to link the atten- full of wrinkles. I showed the two glad to be confused. It's the most had a har~ life, and her face was being confused. You should be Girl). It's subject is the coldness tion to what is behind it. So if pictures and asked "Who is more active way to live. Confusion is of society, and ignorance towa~d you want to explain the secret of beautiful?" They were totally con- to discover oneself in a new way. the poor, or the outsider. But at Mozart's music - how can you? fused, and then came the "."onderful This is my dialectic of provocation the same tjme,.it's the perfect fairy You can describe the formulas that ~w~r I'll never_ forget - _it w~ 1;?e and beauty, and music as a great tale. Because at the same time it's he didn't even invent, because he highlight of my hfe. A girl said I and wonderful adventure. I like to such a sad and serene story, it's was a child of his time. But you think the ugly one is more beauti- speak of music in positive terms. much more touching than any pa- can analyze it whatever way you ful". This is the dialectical way. I was so happy when you asked thetic message told directly. 30 want. ' Then you listeri, and you Loo~g at this ~icture, one feels the me if it's not music, what is it years ago, in a programme note at realize that you didn't speak about precise observation o'. her son_. Not. then. This is a question we Donaueschingen, I wrote that I what really happened as you were to make it more beautiful, not ideal- should cultivate. I wait for pieces hate Messiahs. I hate harlequins. Jistening to it. It's the best way to ized, just showing it. . It was full of that bring me to this existential One is a deformed variation of the not mystify the irrational. When intensity. To me, as important as question. 26 WWW. THEWHOLENOTE. COM N O VEMBER 1 - D ECEMBE R 7 2003

JAZZ NOTES by Jim Galloway This month I'm on the rqad which gives me the opportunity to report back on the jazz scene in another part of the world. I spent a few days in London, England, where the nightlife is, to say the ·least, vibrant. The crowds around Piccadilly Circus and Covent Garden at 1 :00 o'clock in the morning are indeed something to behold- a multi-national throng milling around; enjoying the sights and sounds and imparting a magnetic feeling to the city that would be hard to match anywhere else. Normally I am not one for throngs, but I have to confess that I got caught up in the atmosphere - the hustle-bustle of thousands of people out to enjoy themselves. Getting about in London is always an experience. There is the ubiquitous London taxi and unlike, for example, a lot of New York City cab drivers, your London cabbie knows the city like the back of his hand - indeed that is a qualification for getting the job. The London double-decker bus is also a pretty good means of transportation. There are bus lanes throughout central London, which make it a relatively fast way of getting around and also seeing the city, especially if you manage to bag a front seat on the upper deck. It then becomes, as described by musical humorists of yesteryear, Flanders and Swann, a "transport of delight". And don't forget. the underground, or tube, as it is known locally; the London system is one of the largest in the world. It is an amazing network Toronto singer Beverly Taft performs Nov 6th at the Arbor Cafe in Oakville, Nov 22nd at Amato's and Nov 30th at Lisa's Cafe. See page 54 for more details for these shows - and all the other great jazz in Toronto this month! of tunnels criss-crossing underneath the city. Some of the tunnels are so deep that one almost expects to see a bunch of miners coming off shift! It is also safe at any hour' of the day. · But, be warned - for this is sure- 1 y one of the most expensive cities in the world - the exchange rate doesn't do you many favours and if you go about doing a conversion from pounds to dollars in your head it will turn out to be a very depressing exercise! Jazz? Well, there is still Ronnie Scott's in the heart of Soho: It has been around for 44 years, consistently featuring '11ame' players, often from the United States; the week I was in town ~e headliner was Roy Ayres, while a five minute walk away, the Pizza Express had Geoff Keezer, familiar to Toronto audiences for his appearances at the Montreal Bistro and Top O' The Senator. Featuring some of Toronto's best jazz musicians with a brief reflection by Jazz Vespers Clergy Sunday, Nov. 2 - 4:30 p.m ROB PILTCH DUO CONTINUES NEXT PAGE Sunaay, Nov. 23 - 4:30 pm ADREAN FARRUGIA TRIO Sunday, December 7 - 4:30 pm MIKE MURLEY-DAVID OCCHIPINTI DUO Christ Church Deer Park, 1570 Yonge Street (north of St. Clair at Heath St.) 416-920-5211 Admission is free. An offering is received to support the work of the Church, including Jazz Vespers. NOVEMBER 1 - D ECEMBER 7 2003 Toronto's Center for Clarinets and Oboes SALES . * REPAIR * . Violins, violas, cellos, and bows Complete line of strings and accessories Expert repairs and rehairs Canada's largest stock of string music . Fast matl orderservice Canada's foremost Violin Specialists 201 Church Street Toronto, ON ., MSB 1Y7 e-mail PHILIP L. DA VIS Luthi er jonnerly with f.f. Scbroder: Frankfurt, West Gemmny A Fine Selection of Small and Full Sized Instruments and · Bows • Expert Repairs (416) 466-9619 67 Wolverleigh Blvd .. Tomnto, Ontario, M4J 1 R6

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