Lucy Railton Paradise 94

[Modern Love; 2018]

Rating: 3.5/5

Styles: modern/classical
Others: Beatrice Dillon, Valerio Tricoli

Toward a description of the ambience that emerges in the shatter of industrial panic, of its shimmering, and of its mist-wreathed stridence (in “Pinnivek)…

Toward a description of the musique concrète out of whose vivisection arises Bach’s resurrection1 (in “For JR”)…

Toward a description of the motion of the progressing of the sound without sound without progressing without motion (in “Fortified Up”)…

after Quignard.

I have let the strings on the cello loosen. I no longer climb up to the organ loft. I no longer direct the winds. I no longer sit before the yellow keyboards.

I have set down this life that I am living on the wooden bench on which I had rested my weariness, a life that before I had abandoned in the tumult of a tradition roving toward its concrète dissolution, mortifying what remains, concrete in its wake. Now only my shadow is moored to the life that casts it, cast out upon its shore.

Life is a sort of deafening racket when heard from outside of it.

White, thick, slow, burning music has emanated from the life I left behind, invading my silence. The heat of the music is such that silence is submerged.

I turn toward the tumult. Life is exhausting. My shadow turns, but it is true that turning it I turn with it. The garden has fewer flowers.

The shadow-play progresses.

On the barbed wire adorning the ruins of the old wall, the last sounds are sprouting like thorns, but the leaves in life are withered. The dense tangle of music’s death throes rooted at the bank’s edge is no longer intensely classical: it has fled the page. The river flows more slowly beneath it. One can’t even tell whether it is flowing. Neither its movement nor its music creates the slightest wrinkle on the surface. One can’t even tell whether the death it seeks still attracts the waters. Two very long glissandi lean over the river. They stretch their faces toward their reflections glimmering in the black water. A note no longer whole sits on the score. The sound it designates no longer carries even a memory of what might convey us down this river. It was an old memory, a silent memory. The orchestra is sleeping in a line along the crumbling instruments that lead down to the river. Besides the cracks in these sound collages (actually, they are only collages because there are cracks), there is no semblance that something else is possible. One feels only the silence of one’s shadow. It is true that sometimes, once or twice a song, from who knows where, there comes an odor of decay and almost of death. Nothing moves.

Nothing, nothing moves any longer.

Nothing human has ever mattered to this world, says the one who stands outside it. Nothing human as ever excited the interest of river or flowers, says the one. Everything fades away in the specks of this blurred haze that the fire of the music has added to the heat of the sound, says the one. The music begins to decline. Nothing human has ever mattered to the tones and timbres that dazzle under their closed eyelids while they watch them, ignore them, and sleep.

Except … to the one who internalizes the death and depth of a tradition, knows it, and then: in the cracks appear flowers.

If it is true that Paradise is merely the reflection of our longing for it. If it is true.

1. This apropos of the composer who testifies that God, in the event of his decease, can revive precisely while we are listening to certain cantatas, certain fugues.

Most Read