Modern Minimalists - BBC

Arvo Pärt interviewé par Björk

Arvo Pärt is a so-called "serious" composer who in a very sensitive way has got the whole battle of this century inside him. He started writing in school in the “12 tones” system and then after that he went silent for almost a decade. And then [he] came out with a completely new style. It started with complete purity, not about structure or complexity, but about each note being so lush…so that one doesn’t need a multitude of notes…

Björk : I like your music very, very much because you give space to the listener. He can go inside and live there. But a lot of music over the past few centuries you just have to sit and listen.
Arvo Pärt : Maybe it’s because I need space for myself – even if I am working. I think that sound is a very interesting phenomenon. You can ask why people are so influenced by music – they don’t know how strong the influence of music can be on us - both good and bad. You can kill people with sound…and if you can kill, maybe there is the sound that is the opposite of killing. The distance between these two points is very big. And you are free. You can choose. In art, everything is possible, but everything [what is made] is not necessary.

Björk : There is a question and answer in the different voices inside your music – almost like, Pinocchio and the Little cricket. One is like…a human and always making a mistake, and in pain or bringing pain to another. The Little cricket is trying to comfort him…Do you feel that this is inside your music ? Or maybe I am imagining this ?

Arvo Pärt : I am very happy that you are talking about it. It’s really so. This new style consists in two ways, in two sides : so that one line is my sins and another line is forgiveness for these sins. Mostly the music has two voices – one is more complicated and the other is simple and clear.

He really truly believes in such a thing as a divine state, a place of pure ectasy. Most people achieve it by falling madly in love or whatever they do to reach that state. What is so brilliant about this music is not how you got there or why – but that it’s universal. It’s for everyone.

publié dans Modern Minimalists - BBC - 01.01.1997

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