Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Bells and spells for 2014

It was my old professor Wilfrid Mellers at York University who first introduced me to the strange and 'primitive' music of Barcelonian composer Frederico Mompou. A decade later he published a monograph by way of an obituary the year of Mompou's death, 1987, entitled Le Jardin Retrouvé. He describes how Mompou considered himself to be a composer of recommencement: of the Eternal Return by way of childhood, spells, magic and incantation. As distant from Debussy, Satie and other European composers of the time, as he was from folk music, this latter-day shaman sought to access the therapeutic properties of sound and vibration through simple gestures, modes, and collisions of certain tones (and that's an idea he shares with LaMonte Young!). I find Mompou's music as haunting and intriguing as I did back then. These Charmes are to banish suffering, to fathom the soul, to inspire love, to heal the sick, to learn from the past, and to bring forth joy... Happy New Year!

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