Yeats Between Two Worlds
As a professional musician, I have had many opportunities with which to explore a facet of William Butler Yeats’s plays: his fascination with Japanese Noh theater. Many of Yeats’s short plays are built on stories from Irish mythology. These plays inhabit a strange world somewhere between East and West. Here is an Irish poet/playwright writing in a traditional Japanese form, utilizing elements of each culture. The subject matter is near and dear to the Irish sensibility: stories drawn from ancient Irish history, mythology and religion, but the language is terse and formal. Yeats specifies where in these plays he expects music to be played, and which parts of the script are to be sung. He specifies what instruments are to be played and where.
Over the last several years I have been commissioned to compose music for three of these plays. When doing so, I similarly found myself caught between two worlds, not simply those of East and West, but also those of music and literature. What, then, are the boundaries between music and literature? How does one find an appropriate “sound world” for these stories, the characters within them and two geographically distinct cultures?
8-sounds (bā yīn 八音). Sonorous-painting project
About a relationship between painting and music, building a series of sonorous-
paintings. As a mixed result, we use Eastern concepts with Western solutions. By using different Chinese conditions presented alongside Galician reality in symbiosis.
Based on the book The Sanzijing 三字经, Three-Character Classic, a jewel of Chinese moral philosophy and pedagogy (1127-1279), created to embody the neo-Confucian ideal of uniting in a brief manual, the quintessence of education and philosophy. Any aspect in Chinese culture isn ́t an isolated phenomenon but rather a contextual part related to diverse aspects of life: emerging a particular kind of cosmogony. While the rhythm and melody were developed in Western music, the timbre (tone color) reached a high sophistication in China: an oeuvre becomes different if its instrumentation is altered.
Chosen the rhymed part bā yīn 八音 we built 8 paintings on 8 materials (fundamental component for the timber) extracted from both musical instruments and elements for Fine-Arts, which let ́s 4 Chinese musicians and 4 foreigner ones get an erosive wear attitude to deal with sound. Resulting formats to show will be an exhibition, a concert, a scenic performance and a micro-robot ballet.
Music and painting emerge, develop, demonstrate and perform in unison, in a parallel and mutually binding manner.