Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Art of Funerary Violin

A post-election day reading from Rohan Kriwaczek’s AN INCOMPLETE HISTORY OF THE ART OF FUNERARY VIOLIN (New York: Overlook Press, 2006):

“(T)he genre of Funerary Violin evolved in its own distinct manner, following a path of rooted modality and direct expression, and eschewing all displays of virtuosity, in terms of both performance and compositional artistry, in order to explore simply and honestly our relationship with our own and others’ mortality, in all its many and varied historical and cultural aspects. Had it survived until today, who knows how it would have reflected our current disowning of death; however, it is certain that it would have proved more profound and deeply cathartic than the contemporary tendency towards recorded music played on a ghetto blaster. But then maybe a spiritless age deserves a spiritless death. It is not for me to judge.”

Engraving by J. Forn from the collection of The Wassmann Foundation, Washington, D.C.

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