INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION MUSICA NOVA – PRESENTATION OF THE COMPOSITIONS WITH SPIRITUAL FOCUS.
PhDr. Lenka Dohnalová, Ph.D. /CZ/ - SOCIETY FOR ELECTROACOUSTIC MUSIC
Ladies and Gentlemen, dear colleagues,
I was asked to present here our international competition of EA music (or in more up to date term “sonic art” competition) MUSICA NOVA . I chose also for you some compositions from its history which have some connotation or affinity to the spiritual point of view, because I mean that let listen to music is more interesting than listen to telling about the music.
Shortly: Our competition has been founded in the year 1969 in the Pilsen Radio from the initiative of the composer Miloslav Kabeláč, renewed in 1993 by the Society for EA music in Prague especially from the impulse of the president at the time of this Society, composer Karel Odstrčil in cooperation with me and in Brno by the head of the Brno section, composer Rudolf Růžička.
We received in a short time about 100 compositions of authors of 25-35 countries. Our focus stay clear during the time of 25 years, and it is not for the reason that we couldn t accept to be more trendy. We knowingly concentrate on the so called artistic sonic art, i.e. we don´ t accept multimedia, commercial music etc. On the other hand, we don´ t prefer some special style of EA music, we ask only the high technical quality and clear semantic of work. For motivate authors to be more focused on WHY/FOR WHAT REASON and WHAT they produced it, not only HOW (i.e. with concentration to the processing of sound and working with a new software) we declare sometimes facultative theme such as – TOPOS, CHRONOS, COLOURs etc. because our long-term experience resonates with the experience and following motivation of this FORFEST festival: Artists have their responsibility to release into the public space something what is thoughtful, some OPUS, if you want it with traditional term, not only sketched tests of software, what is very often, unfortunately.
I mean that it is yet other interesting connection between EA and spirituality. EA music could be formed fully from the beginning, from the micro level, a composer could create many space perspectives and depth of spaces. He can compose many level of density of material and construct very well the illusion or symbols of the ladder (lader/žebřík) of materiality/ideality or densities of veils (in a traditional philosophical term). He can make increase, intensify the performer playing capacity, its speed, velocity, force, energy... or he can make much bigger difference in dynamics. Shortly said:
He has in his hands, recently, a powerful instrument how to affect people in direct energetic way, not only by his ideas. For this reason, the responsibility of EA composer is much higher than before. He could to be more ecological in the general sense of this word.
Some observation: We could see in the personal history of some composers that they started for ex. with noise compositions or with aggressive and dissonant contrast structuring, but during the time, themselves stay more friendly to their body, health, themselves, they start to more thinking about what they really do to themselves and to listeners too.
Now to the special presentation, I chose some works with spiritual aspects in many ways of grasping
First composition is MYSTIC GARDEN by PETRA BACHRATÁ, 2007.
Petra Bachratá is a neurologist and composer of Slovakian origin, working and living in Portugal. She is born in 1975. She has a similar style to her former husband Joao Pedro Oliveira, also well known composer of EA especially mixed music.
We have in our competition two categories: pure EA and category of mixed music (live part – instruments, voices) and electronic part, the live performing of instrumental or vocal part should be obligatory.
Petra Bachratá with this composition has a finalist in the category for instruments and EA. Mystic Garden is a composition for accordion, piano and EA, written in 2007, composed for the ensemble Trio Neue Musik.
“Mystic” in this composition means some kind of impression of transcendent holistic beauty of morning nature. She wrote a poetic commentary to this composition:
“Early morning walking in a beautiful garden, gentle mist in the air, sun shining the light, shimmering in the first rays of sun, still echo of rainbow, perfumes of flowers, fresh grass, birds waking up... perfect garden with its secrets, stories and mysteries”.
Second presentation: BARDO by RICHARD MULLER, 2008
Richard Muller was born in 1975, he absolved the Film School in Písek, after the Film Academy in Prague. He composes music for film.
His composition BARDO was inspired by the Tibatian Bardo Thӧdol. He used material of voices, breath, guitar, segments of compositions and noises. He used very often reversions, you know it is often used by composers as a symbol of something wrong, strange, from the other world.
The third presentation: I NAD VÍTR JSEM MARNĚJŠÍ/I AM MORE VAIN THAN WIND by MICHAL RATAJ, 2009
He was born in 1975, studied musicology and composition in Prague, following many courses and stages abroad. Since the year 2000 he works in radio, especially in radio art. He is a well established EAM composer, author of stage and film music (for example from the last time České století – The Czech Century).
His composition is for fipple flute, stones, breath and E. The idea inspiration came from the work of Baroque Jesuit Bedřich Bridel, his most known poetic work What God, What Man? from the 1659:
We can find there a text (only in my provisional translation): “More than flying feather more than wind, I am vain, more than dust I am unstable. I am arrogant foam. During the happiness I am treacherous, but after, if it changes, if the happiness is missing, I am some of the worst...” And it continues by this way...
Michal Rataj wrote some interesting observation that our breath indicates truthfully our real emotional state.
The fourth presentation: LA PART DES ANGES by ROBERT NORMANDEAU, 2012
Robert Normandeau belongs to the well known Canadian composers. Born in 1955, he is a pupil of Francis Dhomont. He teaches EA composition at the University in Montreal. He has received many international prizes, also in Musica nova competition.
He like to compose in the style of acousmatics. What is it acousmatics? The acousmatics as a term has its origin in the Phytagoreism. It accents the importance of concentrated listening to master (Phytagoras hidden after the screen). WHAT HE SAID precisely, what the pupil need to keep in mind. The new sense of this term in EA music is not only the importance of listening, but also the ability to narrate with music the stories (Cinema for Ears) and compose the music in many space perspectives.
The composition LA PART DES ANGES relates to two meanings 1. It is a metaphor about the process of maturation of wine. Because the sound when the wine matures in the barrels, bubbles are whispering, remind a few the “whispering of angels”. 2. is a similarity to the voices of human choir. And the composer plays with this similarities.
The final excerption:
BLAGOSLAVESTENJE/ANNUNCIATION by ROBERT SAZDOV, 2014
Robert Sazdov is a Macedonian author living in Australia. He very often draws his inspiration in the folklore or spirituality especially St. Maria tradition of Macedonia.
This composition makes a third part of the composition Bogorodica/Deva/Blagovestenje which is connected to the important Mariana rituals in Macedonia. Hi uses traditional instrumental colours, rhythms and Byzantine vocal motives.
Thank you for your attention.