Martin Gut’s CD, Versöhnung or „Reconciliation“, is a series of live fields of energy, that are charged by the skillful use of musical structures that awaken impressions of something that is both known and unknown, something that is somehow familiar and yet which we also know we are hearing for the first time. For samples and easy acquisition in Austria and Germany go to: www.preiserrecords.at or www.jpc.de.
Among the tracks of Versöhnung there are works for quartet, flute and piano. Where the opening piece, Trio, is composed using harmonics that derive from the Antique, this is merely the opening for an invigorating series of musical conundrums that challenge us not only to stop and listen but also to wake up. Following Trio is zu köstliche Sache, with the title being a fragment of a quotation: „Life is such a delectible thing“. This is a quotation from Hayden, the father of the string quartet and together with Versöhnung provides unequivocal evidence that what is being heard, is polished and crafted music made by a composer who is part of a tradition in which, for two and a half centuries, music has been written for performance by string quartets. Kunst kommt von können, or „art is born from ability“ and both pieces confirm this, standing up to and holding their own against the vast weight of a potentially over-powering tradition. Between the two pieces there are excursions into other realms. In Whistleblower the flute is put through its paces in a meandering series of scales and arabesques with the percussive properties of the instrument also being exploited with the results being analogous to when string players pluck their instruments. In the minimal K.N.O.T., notes are staged so as to fill out space and time in a way that allows them to be themselves. Although there is a structure to the piece, its subtle sophistication is such that it is not immediately identifiable. In the quartet, Vesöhnung, the composer exploits the possibilities offered by multi-phonics in which notes can be played so as to generate a number of different overtones that are heard simultaneously. To this effect, towards the end of the piece the cello is marginalised and silenced, with its later return enabling a reconciliation with the multi-phonics which orginally lead to its being ostracised. This paves the way for the triumphantly euphoric, Zimmerreise, in which the piano and the tradition of piano music is celebrated.
Questing for Truth: Parmenides of Elea, Sappho of Lesbos
This book by Alexander Curtis introduces the Greek Pre-Socrartic philosopher and scientist, Parmenides and the famed poet, Sappho. Cover and content are in the last stages of preparation and the work will soon be available as a print on demand book.
For centuries, it was unquestioningly assumed that Parmenides‘ poem was an allegory. More recently it has been suggested that the work is in fact a description of an actual experience, the experience being nothing less than an altered states revelation of divine truth as imparted by a goddess. After introducing Parmenides and his life and times, the evidence for his poem being the transcribed record of a revelation is examined in detail.
Thereafter, Alexander Curtis explains the nuts and bolts of Parmenides‘ thinking with innovative graphic diagrams being used to illustrate key points.
Throughout the work, the relevance of Parmenides‘ philosophy for us today is pointed out and at the end, there is a loose and lively translation of his otherwise challenging poem. This takes Parmenides out of the stifling tradition of academic philosophy and re-instates the seminal, uncompromisingly radical nature of his thought. The notion of truth and how truth is seen and experienced leads to the work of Sappho, who whilst not a philosopher, did try to lead her life according to principles that derive from philosophy and was concerned with searching out the good, the true and the beautiful. To this effect, a selection of new restorations of Sappho’s poems by Albert von Schirnding have been translated by the author into English and form the basis of an introduction to Sappho and her life and times.
For 2024, a number of further titles are being prepared.