<< -- 2 -- Gordon Rumson A UNIQUE VOICE
Such pigeon holing can be useful to prepare people with the correct expectations
for processing a new experience. The New Age label may even be somewhat
accurate. However two things must be kept in mind.
First, it is immaterial in a certain sense what motivates a composer
to compose. For example, how many people today can stomach some of the theologically
extreme sentiments expressed in the cantata texts set by J S Bach? But that
the musical, creative results are of the highest order cannot seriously
Thus, for people who don't like ideas about Lemuria, Atlantis or Mu,
or who reject magical thinking entirely, there is no reason not to listen
to this music and allow it to speak for itself.
Second, and this returns to the very opening idea of this essay, I believe
there are those two kinds of music and the pieces by Keith Barnard are definitely
An extract from the score of Keith Barnard's 'Angelic Nocturne'
In fact, they are remarkably magical. Barnard creates deeply expressive
music with the simplest of means. Sometimes just a single note or chord
placed next to another equally simple event. In a way this music is similar
to the compositions of Morton Feldman and the Music for Changes by
John Cage. For people who might look at the score, with its long held whole
notes and wonder where the music is, I can tell you that it is in the living,
trembling, vibrating sounds that these dots are converted into performance.
This is why I will be playing a concert devoted solely to Mr Barnard's music
on 7 February 2003 in Calgary, including the world première of The
Mantric Energy of Silence. I think that this is serious and deeply expressive
Copyright © 31 January 2003
Gordon Rumson, Calgary, Alberta, Canada