Posts Tagged ‘Sofija Gubajdulina’

Sofija Gubajdulina, or the freedom of narrating themselves

Could music narrate? In this sense, could the intersection between the art of sounds and the art of narration emerge?

That’s far from indisputable, although it is, in some respects, a natural enough fact. It could be natural, for example, to ask “what is happening now?” at any point of a piece, and expect that the five, ten or twenty forthcoming minutes will be an oriented whole, with a beginning and an end, where each moment is the consequence of the preceding and the premise of the following one. But it could not be so, and in fact for music of different times the narration metaphor could not be a mandatory key, sometimes it would even be inappropriate. A better alternative could be the rhetorical metaphor (the piece as discourse), for example, that can fit much of the baroque music, or the architectural one (the piece as building).

A great part of Sofija Gubajdulina’s (born 1931) work, instead, definitely narrates.

Let’s consider De profundis (1978) for accordion. Missing the true characters (in music there are no proper names and surnames), we meet archetypes: using an appropriate capital letter meaning the symbolic power of musical structures, we’ll meet for example the Dark and the Bright, generated by the powerful mechanics according to which being an acoustically low or high sound always carries along with itself the two opposing visual suggestions.

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Corrado Rojac plays Sofija Gubajdulina’s De Profundis on Limenmusic Web Tv
go to the concert

Photo by Dmitri N. Smirnov (Own work)