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Music plays with time in so many ways - bending it, compressing it, folding it, expanding it... What role can silence play in this game of temporal illusion? Apart from its obvious potential as a kind of temporal/sonic punctuation, breaking up the apparently continuous flow of time, silence is pregnant with the potential for reflection - reflection on what has come before and on what may be yet to come. Taken to an extreme, silence can introduce a kind of entropy into a piece - a long silence can fracture a piece so severely that it functions as an open door, inviting the listener to wander off, away from the world of the composer. But silence is much more than just the absence of sound. It has a ritualistic aspect. Think of the minute of silence dedicated to the dead, think of the silence of meditation and prayer that takes us beyond the noise and continuity of quotidian existence. Perhaps music can be a metaphor for silence on this level. Perhaps the whole musical work can function as an extended metaphorical silence interrupting our everyday concerns, inviting reflection, turning down the internal dialogue and fading out the conceptual grid.
Commissioned by the Slovene Philharmonia and premiered in 1999
Some use of quarter tones
02 Dec 1999: Performed by the Slovene Philharmonia conducted by Alan Francis; Cankarjev Dom, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Performed by the Slovene Radio and Television Orchestra conducted by Lior Shambadal