More times than I can remember, what I wanted to avoid was the very thing I needed most to address. This is no coincidence. We can intuit when the pieces of a social or personal puzzle do not fit together. When that happens, the best strategy is to confront the challenge head-on. Often, if we do not, we will never confront it at all.
Film and Stage
- Vertigo, about “a dizzy fellow (chasing) after a dizzy dame”; “the most confessional (of Hitchcock’s films), dealing directly with the themes that controlled his art. It is about how Hitchcock used, feared and tried to control women”. It is also about confronting one’s greatest fear, and a study in reality versus illusion.
Music: Composers, artists, and major works
- First movement, Adagio moderato: (an inescapable concern);
- Second movement, Lento – Allegro molto (wrestling with the concern);
- Third movement, Adagio (dark night of the soul into the beginning of resolution);
- Fourth movement, Allegro – Moderato – Allegro ma non troppo – Poco piú lento - Adagio (the concern addressed; a bit of freedom emerges amid the continued struggle).
Beethoven, String Quartet No. 13 in B flat major, Op. 130, with Grosse Fuge in B flat major, Op. 133: as originally composed, the Gross Fugue served as the conclusion for the 13th String Quartet. The work is peculiar for its use of the key of G-flat major, a difficult key musically and compositionally. Beethoven wrestles with this self-imposed problem much as we may wrestle with a life problem, chosen or unchosen. Beethoven’s several solutions to this musical problem serve as a musical metaphor for facing challenges we would rather not address, and either resolving them or, better still, turning them into productive parts of our lives.
- Bowen, String Quartet No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 41 (1918)
- Guarnieri, Piano Concerto No. 3 (1964): this concerto is rich in “instrumental colours coupled with a constantly inflected dynamic palette.” (James Melo, from notes for this album.)
- Guarneri, Piano Concerto No. 5 (1970)
- Gubaidulina, Garten von Freuden und Traurigkeiten (Gardens of Joy and Sadness)
- Hagerty, “After Duchamp”: fashioned after Marcel Duchamp, whose mantra was “I force myself to contradict myself so as not to follow my own taste”.
- Jihye Lee Orchestra, “Daring Mind”
- Ivo Perelman, Matthew Shipp & Nate Wooley, “Philosopher’s Stone”
- Monsieur Doumani, “Pissourin”: in Greek-Cypriot dialect, the title means “total darkness”. “. . . one might think that Monsieur Doumani have written the soundtrack for the Dark Night of the Soul that we have all been blindly lumbering through.”