BLENDING OF MUSICAL, ART AND PHILOSOPHIC INSPIRATIONS

PhDr. Vojtěch Mojžíš /CZ/ – composer, Czech Museum of Music Prague

           My this year´s presentation at Forfest has a particular context which I would like to point out. The piece  Impetus, a Meditation for Guitar, which will be first given here this early evening, was finished only few weeks ago although I thought of it and prepared its composition for several years. The impulse to its creation was an appeal of American guitarist   William Feasly, who already interpreted one my guitar piece here in Kromeriz some years ago. It was Slavkov Sun, a Meditation for Guitar, a piece inspired by genius loci of my home, the scenery of famous battle of three emperors which is found here in Moravia, half way between Slavkov and Brno. The idea of the piece can be verbally articulated as a contrast of tragic fate of one common man, a trooper dying on battlefield in gears of pathos of a grand major historical event, the Napoleon´s war conflict with the rest of Europe which took place at the start of 19th century. 

 

I took a liking to non-musical, to certain extent philosophical themes in the field of chamber music. They appear as beneficial, as a good source of creative inspiration. Therefore, I decided to continue on this path and make my own creative method out of it. So this is how my new piece came into being, for Forfest with its sensitive environment and specifically for Mr. Feasly, for me a competent and very nice performer from overseas.

 

           The piece Impetus thou is not a creative reaction to some important historical event but it is a creative reaction to an artwork, to Vaclav Vaculovic´s picture with title „Your Burning Furnace“. Also that has its own concrete inspiration source although it is an abstract piece of art. According to the artist’s information, it reaches into the distant past of Christian Europe and is connected with a deep spiritual experience.

 

Therefore, I did not focus primarily on the visual expressiveness of the artwork and, by music, I do not strive for its mechanical translation into the world of tones although I tried this very method several times in past and it proved itself well to me. Here, I bet on the semantic side of the artwork. As a compositional resource, I chose level of general terms and meanings which I derived from the picture. It is some of the many axioms which were left to us by the intellectual tradition of Europe history and which, I think, cohere directly also with the theme of Vaculovic´s picture. In this connexion, I was captivated especially by the word furnace, contained in its title. Other, similar words occurred to me at once: urgency, concentricity, purposefulness, determination, consistency. Also other characteristics, especially enthusiasm and cogency, fit for me into this context. In the standard music terminology, the term impetuoso corresponds concisely with meanings of these all words. Impetus, the title of the piece, is its variation.  

 

All named word characteristics create for me sort of bridge or connector between the world of certain artwork and the world of my music imagination. Thus my creative method is  applied here. The verbal characterizations are as it were a cope which is both the same close or the same far from the picture and from the written composition. In other words with some exaggeration, we can speak here about a word demarcation of mutual philosophical or spiritual shell of both art pieces. So the picture and the composition belong together, they create one unit. 

 

What is the difference between painting a picture and writing a composition? When they are then ready, how do differ the ways of their perception by public? A new artwork originates from a focused work in the painting studio, music score of a new piece in a quiet isolation of the composer’s study.

 

So the conditions of the creation are fairly similar here. But in order for the meaning of these creations to be fulfilled, it is needed to create conditions for their presentation, offer them to the judgement of public. The possibilities how to present a picture and how the composition are, as implied by the character of both art products, for each piece rather different. The form of presentation of the artwork is static. Ordinarily, it concerns displaying the picture at a public exhibition where it can be hanged for unlimited time and where it can be seen by viewers. On the contrary, the presentation of the music piece is dynamic, has a processual character, is a social event. It takes place in time and depends on another artistic field – on musical interpretation. If an inspirational connection of two artworks of such a different type took place, it will be difficult to demonstrate their belonging and look for a way how to introduce them together so that they take effect as one semantic unit. 

 

However, an important, active role in this mutual presentation can be played by the music interpretation element. Besides its traditional function which it fulfils in presentation of every

score- defined composition, it will be in this case at the same time also helping to the artwork. Already its placing  on the stage in the close proximity of the guitarist evokes specific conditions for its perception. As a listening to the music, it becomes time limited and besides time it will also share with the music the environment, the concert hall. The musical interpret thou, in this case William Feasly, will gain a scarce opportunity to calculate the process of watching the picture into his own interpretation concept of production. The idea of the picture will serve him as a theme for the listeners and maybe also a recipe of possible approach to the composition, how to perceive it.  This phase will not only concern the thinking operations with the general terms which we mentioned above but also immediate spontaneous appeal of the picture, spontaneous creativity of the concert performance and immediate captivation of the cultivated sound of a music instrument. But the mutual interdisciplinary support of art messages offers here also the opposite function, opposite profit. For receptive observers, the musical composition and its interpretation steps in their impression from the artwork itself, and thus it becomes for them an integral part of it in the future. 

 

             The word meanings and terms which I as a composer selected from the picture for setting are close to psychological terminology. Fine considering of internal psychological processes is among the most effective elements of every good music performance. Therefore, here is found a favourable platform for the musical interprets creative realization. He can then draw inspiration for his performance both from the score and at the same time from the artwork. The semantic ambiguity and depth of the selected terms are substantial here. Therefore, the clarity of the semantic parallels here definitely finds a response in the same richly structured selection of used interpretation nuances, which will enrich the mutual impression from all the elements of this multimedia project. After all, judge for yourself.- the time of the concert is approaching.

 

            Vojtěch Mojžíš

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