Constant Stillness – The Music of Arvo Part

Constant Stillness – The Music of Arvo Part

This is how I remember the title of Hearts of Space program #375. Now, the web site says it is a mini festival.

Here are the words of Arvo Part about his music, in the period of his “tintinabulation”. Almost all of this is, I believe, in Stephen’s spoken introduction; but it is not is the text copy of the playlist. So, I found it in Minimalists by K. Robert Schwarz (Phaidon Press, London and New York, 1996, pg 215). But, I am reprinting it from a web page titled Biography:

“…The complex and many-faceted only confuses me, and I must search for unity. What is it, this one thing, and how do I find myway to it? Traces of this perfect thing appear in many guises – and everything that is unimportant falls away. Tintinnabulation is like this. . . . The three notes of a triad are like bells. And that is why I call it tintinnabulation.

I have discovered that it is enough when a single note is beautifully played. This one note, or a silent beat, or a moment of silence, comforts me. I work with very few elements – with one voice, with two voices. I build with the most primitive materials – with the triad, with one specific tonality….”

I cannot find it in print, but Stephen found it and quotes Part, about Te Deum describing “…delicately removing one piece of time, one particle of time out of the flow of infinity. I have to draw this music gently out of silence and emptiness….”

You can read tons about Arvo part in Wikipedia, or, just look at the biography web page, or, hey, buy Schwarz’ book.

I never tire of Part’s work. Stephen has brought a good deal of it into H.O.S. John Schaefer has brought much of it into WNYC on New Sounds.

Here is my library, courtesy of Amazon:
De Profundis
De Profundis
I Am The True Vine
I am the true vine
Kanon Pokajanen
Tabula Rasa
Da Pacem
Da pacem
Orient and Occident

Part’s music is based in the liturgy of the Orthodox Church. But, Part’s remark about delicately removing one moment out of the flow of infinity might well describe the feeling of the Jewish Sabbath. We are fortunate to be able to do this once a week, every week. But, listening to Part, we can do this at any time.

You can check out Part’s music at Hearts of Space with a simple subscription.

Now, I must say, what prompted this was my hearing the music of Nico Muhly on David Garland’s Evening Music program at WNYC tonight. I was in the car, and I only heard smidgens. But Nadia Sirota knows Muhly well, and interviewed him for WNYC’s homophony celebration, a celebration of the contributions of gay and lesbian composers. I think also Philip Blackburn might be a fan.

I bought three of Nico’s albums in .mp3 at Amazon. I have been listening while I write. I am really enjoying the experience.
Here is what I bought:


don't remember

speak volumes

So, yes, it is late, but this is about all I did today.