From Marvin Rosen at WPRB: “Alan Hovhaness”

WPRB 103.3FM or

Marvin Rosen presents the music of his friend Alan Hovhaness.


Alan Hovhaness

From Alan Hovhaness

For all those that just love the music of American composer of Armenian and Scottish descent – Alan Hovhaness. Often overlooked by many for a style that went against the grain of atonality and serialism, he created a sound world of such wonderful mysticism that he deserves to be recognized.

Some Hovhaness quotes:

Composer, publisher and performer unite in beautiful cooperation for altruism of a better civilization. The composer, as in old China, joins heaven and earth with threads of sounds, the publisher promptly prints the music, the performer promptly plays the music and the world promptly receives the benediction.

To me, atonality is against nature. There is a centre to everything that exists. The planets have the sun, the moon [has] the earth. The reason I like Oriental music is because everything has a firm centre. All music with a centre is tonal. Music without a centre is fine for a minute or two, but it soon sounds all the same.

Things which are complicated tend to disappear and get lost. Simplicity is difficult, not easy. Beauty is simple. All unnecessary elements are removed – only essence remains.

To me the hundreds of scales and ragas possible in Eastern musical systems afford both disciplines and stimuli for a great expansion of new melodic creations. I am more interested in creating fresh, spontaneous, singing melodic lines than in the factory-made tonal patterns of industrial civilization or the splotches and spots of sound hurled at random on a canvas of imaginary silence. I am bored with mechanically constructed music and I am also bored with the mechanical revolution against such music. I have found no joy in either and have found freedom only within the sublime disciplines of the East.

Part of my music is easy to listen to, in a certain respect. One must penetrate beneath the surface of a certain kind of beauty – one must listen to it with a certain concentration and listen to it many times before it reveals all that you have to say. However, I feel there has been enough music written which is purely for just shock value. [Although] the element of shock is important, I wish to create something different. I wish to create something for the unconscious mind, not for the conscious mind.

See the full article here .

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