Music & Architecture cont: Reply from Mark Gould

Journal entries by composer and pianist Laurie Conrad

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Music & Architecture cont: Reply from Mark Gould

Post by figaro » Thu Mar 06, 2008 3:15 am


Image: Score of Cathedrals of Light, Vision V, for harp and flute.

Received a reply from Mark:

Mark: Hello Laurie!

sorry to hear you are unwell. I have read your comments, and I have added mine here, where I can. It is wet here, and darkness surrounds the evenings. But spring comes, slowly, and lightens the days ahead.


For me I saw two elements of architecture in music. The first was in the way vertical elements, sustained in time, in the manner of volumes in space, and the interaction of these vertical elements be they chords or repeated sonorities to me conveys the sense of intersecting volumes - just as a modernist building is formed from the interplay of volumes.

In twelve-note music, the continual reformation of note groups implies that we are walking around the space 'inside' the music, viewing it from different angles, seeing new relations, and at the same time discovering connections - the paths that we as composers take through a row is the music itself. And that accords well with the idea of reusing a series - a new work can be a new path through the same building.

And second, these things are reflected in the notation, for they convey, like the notes of a melody in a skyline, or the silhouette of architecture in the interplay of lines marking out the intersection
and interplay of volumes. Colour, as timbre is a form of light and shade - the way in which high sounds seem like shafts of light and low strings like shadows or the intimation of vast spaces.

And sometimes, texture - like the repetition of a motive - this movement of notes indicating the motion of the composer and listener, conveying the space dynamically, evolving around one.

Someone said once that architecture was frozen music. In which case music is liquid architecture, how something solid and static is made fluid, sensing the passage of time.

with kind regards,


LC: Just beautiful writing, dear Mark.

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