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Sebastian Schunke & Diego Pinera - Elusive Beauty

Elusive Beauty – the birth of the “fourth stream“ “The mind remains forever in the finite, the one-sided and the untrue. Beauty on the other hand is infinite and free in itself.” (Hegel in Lectures on Aesthetics) [...]

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Sebastian Schunke & Diego Pinera - Elusive Beauty


Elusive Beauty – the birth of the “fourth stream“ “The mind remains forever in the finite, the one-sided and the untrue. Beauty on the other hand is infinite and free in itself.” (Hegel in Lectures on Aesthetics) “The desire which the tragic myth creates has the same home as the sensual feeling of dissonance in music.” (Nietzsche in The Birth of Tragedy: Out of the Spirit of Music) Do not the tragic and the disharmonic at the same time carry a beauty in themselves – similar to the statue “La Vieille Helene” by Camille Claudel? With “Elusive Beauty” I wanted to extend my aesthetic mode of expression and discover a different form of beauty: to transform the entire sound of my music: a rough, deep, somewhat inaccessible, brittle, other-worldly beauty as a new form of musical aesthetics. That was what I dreamed of doing! I was driven by life itself – being open to changes in my music – fragility, ageing, painful experiences, and deep personal cuts – giving them space as equal elements next to passion, joy or devotion. This all had to be portrayed and was crying out for new sound, rhythmical and compositional aesthetics!

“We have a duty to music, namely, to invent it. […] In the course of my labors I suddenly stumble upon something unexpected. This unexpected element strikes me. I make a note of it.” (Stravinsky in Poetics of Music) “What would be possible after that seems unlimited. All narrowing principles of selection of tonality have been abandoned. [….] No conventions bar the composer from the sound he needs here – and only here. No conventions force him to conform with old generalities. […] It is as if music had freed itself from the last natural coercion that its material exercises and were able to act freely, consciously and transparently above it.” (Theodor W. Adorno in “Philosophy of New Music”) “[…] we can hear the drumming tradition of forest Africa at its highest level of evolution. Drumming is essential to the Yoruba religion.” (Ned Sublette in Cuba and its Music) “[…] dancing and movement are absolutely necessary if you are to correctly embody African rhythms.” (Kofi Agawu “The African Imagination in Music”) Creating new musical structures – not allowing any limitation of the musical material – freely and undogmatically meeting, taking in, understanding and adapting the modern European and American musical culture of the 20th and 21st centuries in fixed and improvised form. Applying this openness and radicalness to rhythm. Rhythm is passion and spirituality. Understanding the depth of folk music of the Afro-Latin American culture with its traditional rhythms – but being open to everything there too – letting unambiguous meters disappear and making the work swing, without sacrificing the spirituality – yes, the dance! The focus is on the work primarily as a composition – but here too the open, new, interaction without a specified form is dominant. If you think of a river, a person’s life, or a pleasant place, your impression varies depending on how and where you encountered that river, person or place and its condition. Being open to the unexpected, taking new paths – reinventing and rediscovering one’s own music – even to changing the instrumentation: the duet as the most intimate form of musical encounter, complemented by the depth and the special sound structure afforded by the cello, viola and bass clarinet. “I was moving more and more… to make up the sound that I wanted, and I felt that saying ‘Directions in Music by Miles Davis’ would indicate that.” (Miles Davis in his Autobiography) I see “Elusive Beauty” as the first great work of what for me is a new aesthetic timescale and style of composition - as the birth of the “Fourth Stream”: my musical, aesthetic view of the symbiosis of “Afro-Latin American music” and the “new music” of the 21st century. Sebastian Schunke

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