the music of klaus schulze
|crossing and vanishing|
through their empty names:
"tempus fugit: the age of shopping"
la vie electronique one (compilation, 2009)
recorded c. 1968
an ancient pipe organ à la j. s. bach filtered through the moonlight of a different dimension
klaus began his career in 1969 as the drummer in german electronic/psychedelic group tangerine dream
his solo work is extensive but from what i have heard and am hearing it is completely worth diving into,
with eternity as horizon
|water, stone, wind|
timewind (re-issue, 2006)
recorded c. 1975
topography of sound structures flowing and swirling like a river of time
. . .
lately i have been absolutely obsessed with the piano music of federico mompou.
born in spain in 1893, mompou was trained as a pianist throughout his childhood but took up composition as a vocation in adulthood.
i do not associate him with any other composer that i have ever heard, not even debussy, ravel, or satie (although there are certainly audible similarities), because he was both a catalan and seemingly quite connected to the folk songs and identity associated with the catalan community.
these compositions are meditative and insular worlds. the images painted in my mind by mompou's delicate notes are abstract, lacking definite form or concreteness -
perhaps this very quality of untraceability is what draws me to him, how there are emotions being expressed but not in a way that can be spoken of.
one's expectations based on the sounds of mompou's world, the automatic associations with chords and rhythms commonly heard in both late 20th-cetury/early 21st-century (post-)impressionism and mid-21st-century jazz/popular music, and the sounds themselves are often distorted reflections of each other.
i am happy to know about this composer; entering his world to only find yourself lost on various dark and beautiful paths is proving to be a highly enjoyable activity.
música callada (1959-67)
en. silent music
federico mompou, piano
música callada is a work divided into four notebooks and totals 28 pieces.
it is based on the poem cántico espirituel by 16th-century spanish mystic san juan de la cruz, in which there are the following verses:
"la noche sosegada
en par de los levantes de la aurora,
la música callada,
la soledad sonora" (source)
... the last two lines, "silent music, sonorous solitude," according to mompou, are: "... trying to express the idea of a music that would be the very voice of silence" (source, p. 45)
one of my favorite pieces in the work is @ 47:40
xxii. molto lento e tranquilo
impressiones intimas (1911-1914)
en. intimate impressions
luis angel martínez, piano
i have a recording of mompou himself playing impressiones intimas ripped to CD but i could not find it on yt.
i like it better than this video but it will do for now - these were the first of mompou's pieces i have heard and are therefore integral to my love for his music.
adolf pla, piano
these are piano pieces of perfect length - none of the six last much longer than two minutes. according to pianist stephen hough, the titles of these pieces are:
"strange signposts [which] head each piece to illuminate our path of perception - although these mottos are more like the light of flickering candles in their obscurity. they are literally 'spells' which are conjured up for specific purposes: 'to alleviate suffering' ... 'to penetrate the soul' ... 'to inspire love' ... 'to effect a cure' ... 'to evoke an image of the past' ... 'to call up joy'" (source)
further description on what else one may find during their audial stroll:
"the music of federico mompou is the music of evaporation. the printed page seems to have faded, as if the bar lines, time signatures, key signatures, and even the notes themselves have disappeared over a timeless number of years. there is no development of material, little counterpoint, no drama nor climaxes to speak of; and this simplicity of expression - elusive, evasive and shy - is strangely disarming. there is nowhere for the sophisticate to hide with mompou. we are in a glasshouse, and the resulting transparency is unnerving, for it creates a reflection in which our face and soul can be seen"
"he is inside the room looking out, with the glass partly clear and partly stained. indeed there is always an element of distance in mompou between subject and object - the children's games, the singing and dancing are seen and heard from the next street; and his music thrives indoors in the city, not in the sultry southern sun of moorish spain"
(source - although i dislike the author's brusque remark about mompou, saying it is "impossible to claim [that he was] one of the 'great composers'" ... )
. . .
women drying laundry on the beach
in the deep purple loneliness, who
hasn't seen himself on the way to or from some
and not felt the fear and wretchedness and fatal doubt?
the fear of being nothing but an empty body
that anybody - i or anyone else - could occupy,
and the wretchedness of watching yourself, alive,
and the doubt that it is - it is not - real.
xavier villaurrutia, "nocturne: fear" nostalgia de la muerte (1938)