• Poul Ruders
  • Sound and Simplicity (2018)

  • Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen (World)
  • 2(pic).2.2.2/4221/timp.perc/hp.syn/str (min.
  • acn
  • 25 min

Programme Note

Sound and Simplicity - Seven Pillars of Music for Accordion and Symphony Orchestra

All music is sound, but not all music is simple. Simplicity is a virtue, especially in the arts, a fact which becomes increasingly and inescapably obvious to me the older I get. In Sound and Simplicity four out of the seven movements are very simple (as in the absence of any structural and metric complexity) indeed, in fact the second movement Trance, a sustained chord, employs only four notes, but gradually presented over three octaves.

Only two of the seven titles are related to a given literary text. Rain is a musical reflection on a couple of lines from Danish writer Arthur Krasilnikoff, the novel The Eye of the Whale (from the chapter entitled Rain) – here in my translation from the Danish: “But best of all were the sounds from the drops. All the myriad sounds with which a drop could touch a leaf, a twig, a stone, gravel, the cement on the stairs, the clothesline, the roof, as if the rain was playing a single, incredible instrument…”

I composed the fourth Pillar of Music upon having read these mesmerizing lines by Doris Lessing: “The air was full of dust and of smoke. The sky was a yellowish swirl with dark smoke full of black bits pouring across it, and the sun was only a lighter place in the smoke.” (from Mara and Dann, 1999).

Otherwise the listener is completely free to contemplate what could possibly be hiding behind the titles Trance, Haiku, Song-link, Twilight and Wolf Moon

Needless to say, the full title of my composition is lifted and slightly twisted from two literary classics. Jane Austen: Sense and Sensibility and T.E.Lawrence (of Arabia): Seven Pillars of Wisdom. But only that – a nod and a bow from me…

Sound and Simplicity marks the final panel in what could be called 'The Accordion Trilogy': Serenade on the Shores of the Cosmic Ocean (accordion and string quartet) then Songs and Rhapsodies (accordion and wind quintet) and finally Sound and Simplicity.

Poul Ruders, July 2018




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