Thursday, 8 November 2007

Esa Pekka Salonen

It’s a challenge for me to complete all my projects before leaving. I go through them without stress. That’s the best way to remain sane in this intense time of changes.
The music for Reminiscence is done. Amelle liked all that I wrote for her. Once again, I had no idea what she was going to do, so I followed my intuition and focused on the vibrations that emanated from her. It wasn’t very difficult a task. I remember a TV series about the life of Mozart, where the composer explained that he had to please two kinds of audience: the A type is the common people, who like tuneful melodies which are easy to remember, and the B type are the elite and the connoisseurs, who have a deeper understanding of music. The music has to be appealing to both types without sacrificing for one or the other.
Not that I compare myself to the genius, but the thought always stays in the corner of my mind. And I found the same in Shakespeare and Molière’s works. One can write ambitious pieces but shall never forget that the world is composed of many kinds of people.
Reminiscence will not be my highest musical achievement, but I take pleasure listening to it, and hope people will as well.

The video of Goovy is finally finalized! After remaining dormant for nearly a year, I took the video file Lian had given me last year. The original running time of the song was much too long for the footages she had, so she picked another song from my album, Love and Long for Someone. The result wasn’t very convincing to me, only for the fact that she only used the first half of the song. The matter was left unfinished until I recently decided to make a short edit of Goovy to match the running time of video. I added some unused footage she had sent me at the very beginning and the now we have it!


Esa Pekka Salonen is definitely my favourite conductor, or shines brightly in my top five. My dear music worshipper friend Rémi got me a ticket to attend a Sibelius concert with Salonen conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
That must have been one of the best concerts this year – well, yes, I haven’t been to so many after all…
I rarely hear such homogeneity in the orchestral texture. The musicians obviously gave their best and were one single entity. As Rémi put it so nicely, the sound grew from an inner landscape of the music, and not the contrary. On the program were Sibelius’ 4th and 7th symphonies. It was nearly a spiritual experience. I know many critics found the performance too cold, too neat and too polished. But they didn’t seem to acknowledge another possible vision of the music, so rooted were they in their conceptions of how this music ought to be played.
Salonen gave the subtlest rendition of the two symphonies and the orchestra sounded like it was from another world. Splendid. It was apparently the musical event to attend this season, and I’m glad Rémi thought of me.
Quite interestingly, I will be attending another Sibelius concert next month, this time with Edo de Waart conducting the Hong Kong Philharmonic…

Tomorrow will be a Scriabin evening…

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