Saturday, January 30, 2016

"Illuminations Of The Beyond," Messiaen

Q:  You have been identified as the latest revolutionary in French music. But hasn't any revolutionary at the outset undergone influence, and which masters do you recognize as having left their mark on your work?

Messiaen (the composer):  The birds.

Q:  Excuse me?

M:  Yes, the birds: I've listened to them a lot, when lying in the grass, pencil and notebook in hand.

Q:  And to which do you award the palm?

M:   To the blackbird, of course! It can improvise continuously 11 or 12 different verses, in which identical musical phrases return. What freedom of melodic invention, what an artist!

Éclairs sur l'au-delà… 
"Illuminations [literally "flashes of lightning"] of the beyond…"

"Éclairs sur l'au-delà --- Illuminations of the Beyond --- incorporates birdsong from AustraliaNew ZealandPapua New Guinea and Singapore."

Éclairs sur l'au-delà… 

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