Friday, November 12, 2004


The Artist Elias
I've been listening to Arvo Part's Credo in the last few days. It's a piece of music I've not heard in a long time. What struck me was how simple the piece is: it sounds like a man at war either with himself and/or the times he's living in. And the alchemical shape of it is obvious: that amazingly cacophonous middle section - which always makes me think of the 'Exploding Blue Danube' in Monty Python - which then gives way to what is probably the most moving piece of music of his early period. Hearing it again for the first time in over five years (the tape has been in storage, along with many books) was a shattering experience. It is clearly about a nigredo exeperience which is finally overcome with the 'Credo' ... the 'I believe'. But this is thankfully not the Jesus of George W. and all the morons who voted for him - the fuckwits who interpret the Bible literally - Part's Jesus is the Jesus of the living moment, the one who saves by making the saved aware of the essential simplicity of the moment and of life in general. Arvo Part heard the message that his own music was telling him, and simplified his life and is art to make something of extraordinary beauty and power. We can all learn from his example.

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