A piece will generally start out from a very small idea, which will then be progressively varied, extended, and repeated, following rules of change similar to those by which a fern unfurls and grows.
Female shaman and blessed fool, she is an extraordinary figure to have arrived in a time of cynicism, lethargy, irresponsibility, and confusion, but all the more vital for that.
Tallis was ever the musical pragmatist, responding to the fickle fluctuations of liturgical necessity; Byrd walked the thin line between perception and persecution as a follower of the old faith.
Her music generally has something of the glaze of film, the sense that, though the expressive gestures may be violent or disturbing, they are unfolding somewhere apart and unreachable.
This cyclical journey takes us through the whole gamut of musical emotion, moving from the sumptuous, sensuous polyphony of Orlande de Lassus to the ascetic purity of Arvo Pärt.
To some extent, this “new type of music” is very old, a renewal of what existed in Europe before the Renaissance, neither grounded nor driven by the harmonic forces, whose unfolding is not rational.
“From time to time ideas come for my next work which as I see it will be a large work which will always be in progress and will never be finished” - John Cage to Pierre Boulez, May 1953
The 17th century brought with it a creative musical explosion that was unprecedented in music history, an artistic upheaval whose closest peer is perhaps the sonic exploration of the 20th century.
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