luni, 21 ianuarie 2013


Cronica realizata de Irina Nitu (muzicolog)

Atmosferă psihedelică în Dianei4, duminică, 20 ianuarie 2013. Aceasta a fost cea mai puternică senzaţie degajată de spectacolul multimedia intitulat Fum.

Desprinsă parcă din poemele lui E. E. Cummings, mireasa, Irinel Anghel, i-a interpretat acestuia câteva versuri, creând o punte de legătură între momentele muzicale ale concertului gândit de Diana Rotaru şi prezentat de Ansamblul SonoMania (Ana Chifu – flaut; Mihai Pintenaru – clarinet; Maria Chifu – fagot; Radu Vâlcu – chitară; Olga Podobinschi – pian). A fost vorba despre un repertoriu alcătuit din:

Erik Satie (1866-1925) – Gnossiene nr. 1 - pentru chitară solo & improvizaţii live
Charles Koechlin (1867-1950) – Sonata pentru fagot şi pian (p.2. Nocturne)
Doina Rotaru (n. 1951) – Tempio di fumo II (p.a.a.) – pentru ansamblu
André Jolivet (1905-1974) – Pastorales de Nöel (Les Mages) – pentru flaut, fagot, chitară
Diana Rotaru (n. 1981) – enter no silence (p.a.r.) – pentru voce şi ansamblu (pe un poem de E.E.Cummings)
Salvatore Sciarrino (n. 1947) – Canzona di ringraziamento – pentru flaut solo
Irinel Anghel (n. 1969) – Fragile (p.a.a.)– pentru voce, ansamblu şi electronics
Erik Satie – Gymnopédie nr.1 – pentru chitară solo & improvizaţii live

foto: Mihai Cucu

Muzica ambientală a lui Satie a flancat întregul eveniment, conferindu-i acestuia ceva din specificul muzicii lui (căci improvizaţiile anunţate au fost cam timide). Dorindu-şi să exploreze zone precum „Sunet-nesunet, sunet-iluzie, sunet-abur, sunet-fantasmă”[1], ansamblul s-a angajat în ilustrarea sonoră a unor piese destul de similare din punctul de vedere al expresivităţii lor. Ideea de fum, iluzie, paradox a fost însă bine conturată, efect datorat atât proiecţiilor video sugestive (realizate de Mihai Cucu), interpretării actoriceşti convingătoare a personajului-liant (mireasa, Irinel Anghel) cât şi caracterului muzicii propuse.

foto: Sabina Ulubeanu

Am remarcat îndeosebi Tempio di fumo de Doina Rotaru, creaţie pentru ansamblu ale cărei sonorităţi construite în jurul sunetelor-pilon, ornamentate, înzestrate cu o imponderabilitate cvasi-palpabilă justifică (din punctul meu de vedere) titlul spectacolului. (Alte piese precum Sonata lui Koechlin, Pastorales de Jolivet sau Canzona di ringraziamento de Sciarrino au lăsat să se întrevadă câteva lacune interpretative, remediabile probabil printr-un număr mai mare de repetiţii). Enter no silence de Diana Rotaru şi Fragile de Irinel Anghel au demonstrat lumi interioare puternice, care au rezonat  cu diverse frământări, fantome şi paradoxuri. Noroc că toate sunt efemere! Dincolo de stranietatea paletei expresive cu care şi-au încărcat compoziţiile, cele două creatoare au avut o contribuţie demnă de remarcat în realizarea atmosferei spectacolului.
Personal, unitar, cu evidente valenţe psihedelice, Fum a fost un eveniment inedit. Perfectibil, dar pregnant.

foto: Mihai Cucu

foto: Sabina Ulubeanu

[1] Diana Rotaru, vezi prezentarea concertului publicată la adresa, accesată duminică, 20 ianuarie, 2013. 

joi, 17 ianuarie 2013

Thoughts on Teaching Music Theory and Composition

We welcome again on our blog composer and friend Liviu Marinescu, coordinator of music composition and theory at California State University Northridge.                                                          

Much of what I have learned about teaching music over the past 20 years has happened slowly, away from my students, during long periods of quiet reflection. Following so many lectures and exams, discussions with peers or graduation recitals – all peppered with the usual failures from time to time – I have gradually discovered what works in the classroom.  With experience and the test of time finally on my side, I am now more confident in voicing my thoughts on teaching and mentoring. Still, there is much learning waiting ahead.
Most attempts to develop and articulate a single teaching philosophy in application to a wide range of academic environments are bound to be unsuccessful at some point. The goals of a liberal arts education are fundamentally different from the competitive milieu of a music conservatory or the typical life on a state university campus, where bureaucracy can sometimes overshadow initiative and talent. Yet, a number of general concepts and strategies have provided me the strength to succeed in most situations and educational environments. I shall focus on these:

In search of a role model

I learned so much more from musicians who could set an example before preaching about it. Starting with my best teachers and going back to Bach, Fauré, Schoenberg, Messiaen, Ligeti, or Crumb, all of them equally inspiring as composers and mentors, the lessons I learned are simple: never stop searching, composing, sharing and inspiring. Such role models can have a lasting effect upon students trying to find their voice and develop an artistic identity, as their pursuits can easily resonate across the mentor-apprentice line.

Young or experienced, composers will eventually head in different aesthetic directions. Yet, we are all looking for a more personal and unique way to create music, working with similar ideas and concepts, and trying to draw from the contemporary world. It just happens that we, the mentors, are a little more experienced. By showing before preaching about it, striving to become a role model myself one day shall remain my primary goal as an educator.

The gift of communication

Like most students, I too have experienced a few endless lectures with little impact on my growth. Often, it was not that my teachers had nothing to say; it was that they didn’t know how to say it. While the resolution of a dominant-seventh chord or basic structure of the sonata-allegro form have not changed much over the past few centuries, the way we communicate has gone through numerous transformations. Every new generation of students is bound to read less than before, or better said, is probably going to read differently. Despite that more content is being produced every day, there are fewer bookstores and music stores where relevant information can be sorted out and curated. Libraries are rarely crowded. Ultimately, it is not a lack of information that prevents a student from succeeding, but a lack of pertinent information or even the abundance of irrelevant data. This is where our mentoring work becomes essential. Unless we have a clear understanding of how every new generation is going to develop skills and acquire knowledge, especially with technology evolving so fast, we are bound to resonate less and less with our students.

A great teacher is an effective communicator, willing to adapt, change and learn continuously. He or she is in tune with the present-day student, and ready to constantly reform the means of communication by seeking feedback and providing it at the same time.

Mastering the canon

Most masterpieces I know came from composers with a deep understanding of their past. In the western musical world, a successful teacher should encourage all students to master the traditional skills and techniques pertaining to musicianship, tonal harmony, musical forms, counterpoint, and orchestration. Having been educated in a music conservatory from the age of seven, I have learned to appreciate the values of a solid foundation in music theory. Whether I had to wrestle with the strict rules of part writing, take careful steps in 16th century species counterpoint, or move in-between the fixed and movable do solfège sytems, mastering the canon took time and a considerable amount of steady work. It was a phase that I fully accepted and eventually completed. It was great.

Based on my experience teaching music theory, abstract concepts and hands-on skills should be taught separately. It’s not that the application of abstract concepts is undesirable; it is the fact that finding instructors who can excel in both areas is a rather difficult task. Last but not least, the number of well-structured textbooks covering music theory and ear training at the same time is still limited.

Revolting against it

Each new generation will flourish and grow by bringing us new ideas and ideals. Some will even revolt against the canon. As with any field, in music change happens through gradual processes of evolution interrupted occasionally by drastic revolutions. We have the duty to encourage our students to think beyond the canon, and if needed, revolt against it and us.

Music doesn’t come from music

I have learned so much in the classroom, but so much more outside, away from musical instruments and staff paper. Having had time to reflect upon my growth as a composer and teacher, I cannot underestimate how much I have discovered on my own, after being taught how and where to search for knowledge and inspiration. I shall continue this search, while teaching students the same great lessons I was fortunate enough to learn from real life experiences.

Liviu Marinescu
Los Angeles, January 2013

marți, 8 ianuarie 2013

Ecouri din InnerSound

La sfarsitul lui august 2012 avea loc prima editie a festivalului de arte noi InnerSound, un prilej de mari emotii si bucurii pentru toti cei implicati, de la organizatori la artistii invitati si, din ce am vazut, la public. Iata cateva reactii adunate pe parcursul celor cateva luni care au trecut:

Irinel Anghel – compozitor/performer

InnerSound, InnerDust, InnerShadow, InnerChild.... de la inceput am avut un "feeling" bun legat de acest festival. Nu ne mai ducem cu privirea catre exterior, catre ce ne-ar putea oferi altcineva, ci catre noi insine. Daca ne-am descoperit sau nu sunetul stiu...fiecare are un raspuns...dar macar stim unde sa cautam... Acest festival ne-a aratat ca: se poate construi ceva in mijlocul unor vremuri culturale controversate, ca pasiunea este un motor care pune in miscare artisti, public, idei, ca varianta unui festival independent aduce coeziune in continutul evenimentului si adeziune in jurul lui, ca e momentul interdisciplinaritatii si granitele dispar (intre arte, creatori si interpreti, public si artisti), ca lucrul in echipa face minuni, ca sunt multi oameni frumosi in jurul nostru si ca, suntem cu totii foarte creativi..:)

Multe plusuri pentru entuziasm, tinerete, joc, fantezie, deschidere. A pornit ceva. I-am facut cu mana si l-am imbratisat din interior si din exterior. Merita sa continue si, pana la a doua editie, ne putem reaminti, in fiecare zi, de artistul interior care de abia asteapta sa iasa si sa spuna lumii: Hello!! Why not?

Stefan Firca – muzicolog

Initiativa voastra s-a concretizat cu succes. Bravo! Multiplicat de zece ori - dat fiind climatul muzical/cultural actual, bugetul pe care (nu) l-ati avut, grupul de oameni dedicati pe care i-ati strans in jurul vostru, energia si vointa voastra. La reauzire!
P.S. Evident, eu tot astept un "OuterSound" la un moment dat. Nu-i bine sa tineti in voi - lasati viermii, serpii si praful in libertate!

Cristina Uruc – compozitor

Festivalul InnerSound este o initiativa curajoasa si necesara mediului cultural romanesc. Aduce un aer fresh si activeaza lumea artistica contemporana a Bucurestilor. Ma bucur ca mi-a fost data ocazia iau parte la acest eveniment inca de la prima editie. Succes si la cat mai multe editii de InnerSound!

Ana Chifu – flautista / membra SeduCant

O bucurie a simturilor, o prima editie a unui festival exceptional organizat, ce a cuprins evenimente de foarte buna calitate. Festivalul a oferit o prospetime a noului, artisti creatori si interpreti din noua generatie, o imbinare a muzicii cu fotografia, filmul, proiectia video, dansul si a propus un cadru nonconformist publicului, invitat sa reactioneze cu priectiile video, sa devina creator la randul lui, sa aiba experienta nemaivazutului si a nemaiauzitului. Asteptam cu nerabdare editia 2013!

Henry Vega – compozitor / performer

What I saw was a festival that had a very definite idea of the type of music it wanted to promote. Not just to detach from the past generations of art music but to really present music that is, as Sabina mentiones, intelectual but also warm and dramatic. I think your strugle next year will be to continue searching for acts that fulfil that unwritten mission statement so that the festival stands up for itself with its own individuality (and you did).  You learned a lot this year and you have the spine to see it through, reward the people who helped you the most by making it worth their time (better funding, recognition, etc) and keep a balance between international groups and Romanian groups.  Funding bodies will want to see that you are sponsoring the next generation of artists while also making a platform for YOUR generation of artists. The 'film night' was a very very good idea, the club night should also be a tradition, try it again and improve it. Keep up the good work!!!