Alex Nante has been commissioned to write a new piece for our current Linkage! phase. Life, Dream, Light, Silence (2019) will be premiered by pupils of the LVR-Anna Freud-Schule and the catholic primary school Lindenburger Allee on September 15th. For this blog entry, we asked him to tell us more about his thoughts behind his work.
You have been commissioned to write a piece for the new project Linkage!. What is the main difference of this commission compared to others?
I'm used writing music mainly for traditional instrumental setups, such as string quartet, orchestra, ensemble, choir, etc. The Linkage! project is aimed for an unspecified number of performers, of all ages, that don't read music or that don't necessarily have an instrumental background. In this sense it was a challenge for me to compose the piece; and also an opportunity to experiment with another type of writing which I'm not used to.
The only requirement was, the composition has to be "spielBar" (playable), so it can be performed by participants without prior instrumental knowledge. How is your piece "spielBar"?
My spielBar piece is an exploration of the syllable OM or AUM, which symbolizes the "vital vibration" of the universe. When I was thinking of different possibilities for the spielBar piece, the idea of this vital sound or vibration appealed to me because it's something that is present in all traditions and the concept goes way beyond our standard musical knowledge and abilities. And of course: there's nothing more universal than voice itself.
Please tell us something about the creative process: How did
you approach the piece? What was especially challenging?
It was clear for me that the piece would have four parts: each one corresponding to a component of the syllable AUM, with a silence that is added at the end. It was challenging to transmit the particular character of each component of the syllable with simple instructions so the piece could be learned in one workshop session.
Life, Dream, Light, Silence is the title of your piece which two groups of pupils will premiere on "Musikfabrik im WDR 71" in Cologne. What does the title tell us about the composition?
Life, Dream, Light, Silence is a poetic translation of the symbolism of AUM.
Life is the A sound, the state of vigil, of "normal" consciousness.
Dream is the U sound, the state of our inner world and imagination.
Light is the M sound, a state of deep concentration, a pure state of sound and light.
Silence corresponds to the deep stillness and mystery after the AUM, where eventually new sound can emerge...