When Music Speaks, Literally
I’m rarely blown away by a piece of music, but this week it happened. Stop reading right now and checkout this Peter Ablinger thing.
[Go, go...I'm serious]
Okay, are you back with me? I know I spent way more time clicking around his website than I probably should have on the company clock, but I couldn’t help myself. I just find this particular composer’s work completely fascinating. Thanks to Alex Mincek for turning my attention back to Ablinger. Previously, I had only heard his Grisailles (1-100) for three pianos, but now I’m a full-fledged fan.
So, as a composer who holds the opinion that music is incapable of communicating, you can imagine how bizarre it feels to have a piano actually talk to you in a comprehensible language. Mr. Ablinger, you’re a genius. While I was perusing his website, I felt multiple I-wish-I-had-thought-of-thats, the biggest composer-to-composer compliment in the known universe. However, when I played the Schoenberg letter for my boyfriend, he totally hated it. To him it was just a stupid gimmick that sounded ugly. Luckily, we agree on almost everything else, so I won’t hold it against him.
The whole ordeal of getting to know Ablinger’s work has been a pure pleasure for me, probably due in large part to the fact that we both share a similar concern when it comes to conceptual music processes—an approach not seen very often here in the States. Which makes me wonder, is the lack of interest in conceptual approaches to music a sociological incongruity or a generational thing? It seems that younger composers here in America have definitely absorbed and “gotten over” the implications raised by figures such as John Cage, but this doesn’t explain the overall lack of interest in the ideas and connections that lay far beyond the score.