on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2011 27 Jul

The Gurdjieff Folk Instruments Ensemble

von: Michael Engelbrecht Filed under: Blog,Musik aus 2011 | TB | Tags: , | 1 Comment

79-tone Kanun on the couch.jpg


Am 5. August erscheint  bei ECM die CD „Music of Georges I. Gurdjjieff“, die Gruppe nennt sich schlicht THE GURDJIEFF FOLK INSTRUMENTS ENSEMBLE: die dort gespielten Instrumente sind hier abgebildet (natürlich nur der Typus, nicht das exakte Exemplar): duduk, blul, kamancha, oud, kanon, santur, tar, dap, saz, tombak, dumduduk. Bei den Salzburger Festspielen bekommt man solche Klangkörper nicht zu Gehör.  Ausführlich stelle ich  diese CD in den Klanghorizonten des Deutschlandfunks am  29. August 2011 vor. Es ist die Musik, die ein wyndernder Mystiker auf langen Reisen sammelte, weit  entfernt  von dem esoterischen  Raunen, das  zur Requisistenkiste pseudomystischer Sounds zählt und nicht zuletzt durch Bollywoods und Hollywoods Soundtrackschmieden ziemlich abgenutzt ist.  

Tigran Mansurian schreibt dazu: „What appeals most to me in Levon Eskenian´s instrumentation is the extreme meticulous, clear cut work approach without unnecessary „composing“ and „cleverness“ – when in the wilderness of silence the tiniest intervention is done with sound, which is very characteristic of Gurdjieff´s  works. There is deep silenceat the core of this music that relates  us (…) to the truths told of deep silences from faraway lands, a stillness tha thas not been darkened at all, and has a degree of density that leaves the Gurdjieffian silence immaculate“.

Music of Georges I.GurdjieffMidde East Instruments Sufi Musif - Daf DrumDatei:Baglama.jpgTonbak with Khatam

This entry was posted on Mittwoch, 27. Juli 2011 and is filed under "Blog, Musik aus 2011". You can follow any responses to this entry with RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

1 Comment

  1. Michael Engelbrecht:

    The Gurdjieff Folk Instruments Ensemble was founded in 2008 by the Armenian musician Levon Eskenian with the aim of creating ethnographically authentic arrangements of the G.I. Gurdjieff/Thomas de Hartmann piano music. The ensemble consists of leading Eastern folk instrumentalists in Armenia playing duduk, blul/nay, saz, tar, kiamancha, oud, kanon, santur, dap/daf, tombak and dhol. Its repertoire mainly consists of G.I.Gurdjieff’s original compositions, as well as some works by ashoughs’ (troubadours), traditional and spiritual Armenian pieces chosen to further illustrate Gurdjieff’s musical influences. Organized by Naregatsi Art Institute, the ensemble had its first concerts in Gyumri, Armenia–Gurdjieff’s birthplace.

    Gurdjieff is known to many in the West as one of the major spiritual figures of the 20th century. His extraordinary musical repertoire was based on the music he heard during his journeys in Armenia, the Caucasus, the Middle East and many parts of Central Asia, India and North Africa, where he witnessed a myriad of folk and spiritual music, rituals and dance traditions. This music consists of some 300 pieces and fragments for the piano, composed in the 1920’s in the manner of dictation from Gurdjieff to his pupil, Thomas de Hartmann, the Russian composer and pianist.
    It is important to note that Eastern musical traditions are strongly characterized by their own unique instruments and instrumental combinations and these indigenous Eastern instruments are capable of producing microtonal intervals, rhythms and other nuances that are essential parts of Eastern music. Naturally, most of the instrumental music that Gurdjieff heard during his travels was performed on Eastern folk instruments. It is noteworthy to mention that he also amassed a collection of Eastern instruments (which resided at the Chateau du Prieuré at Fontainebleau) that he had intended to use for authentic performances of folk music and dances.

    Through rigorous study of the instrumentation and performance practices of the musical traditions of each of the ethnic groups, Levon Eskenian has chosen and arranged those pieces that have roots in Armenian, Greek, Arabic, Kurdish, Assyrian, and Caucasian folk and spiritual music for Eastern folk instruments. From an ethno-musicological perspective, these pieces are valuable source of information on Eastern ritual, folk, and sacred music from an era before audio recordings.

    We have learned from de Hartmann’s notes that Gurdjieff gave much importance to the perception of Eastern music and how it was played on authentic Eastern folk instruments. In 1919, Gurdjieff sent de Hartmann and his wife to Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, where de Hartmann gave concerts of European music and of the works of the Armenian composer Komitas (The pillar of Armenian classical music,ethnomusicologist and decipherer of khaz–Armenian music notation system). As de Hartmann describes, “Mount Ararat was wrapped in a shroud of mist—an unforgettable sight. To accompany this vision there was authentic Eastern music played on…the tar-a kind of stringed instrument. Through this trip to Erivan….Gurdjieff gave us the opportunity of listening to Eastern music and musicians, so that I could better understand how he wished his own music to be written and interpreted.”

    Copyright © 2011 Gurdjieff Folk Instruments Ensemble – All rights reserved

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