Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bjork Interviews Arvo Part

I've never been Part's biggest fan, but I'm warming to his music much more recently (albeit hardly in love). The sort of 'contemplative' feel which everyone seems to admire in his music has always felt a bit repulsive to me. If you want music that relaxes you, listen to Yanni. But what I do occasionally love about Part is his extraordinary sense of self. He writes music that is utterly out of place in our time, for ensembles that could have existed five hundred years ago, and with harmonies that stubbornly conform to his idea of an ideal music that comes from a devotion to Orthodox plainchant. There is much less to Part's music than seems to meet most ears, but at it's best it's very personal indeed.

(Fratres for violin and piano. My favorite Part work. Instead of remaining static, it ebbs and flows with a beating heart. If only so much of the rest of his music did the same.)

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