Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Music worth listening to
Last week, I had won a pair of tickets to Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Fantasies and Confessions. I thank Candy for taking time to catch the concert with me.
In general, it takes some time for me to appreciate contemporary music, especially when I hear a piece of contemporary music for the first time. However, during the concert Fantasies and Confessions, I was particularly drawn to James MacMillan's The Confession of Isobel Gowdie. I can't fully describe what makes the music moved me. It just did so!
The music is inspired by this story: In 1662, Isobel Gowdie, from Nairn in Scotland, was strangled at the stake and burned in pitch after having confessed to being a witch and consorting with the devil.
For me, it is hard to understand how people can grant themselves the power to judge others and assert pressure to get others to make absurb confessions. If she was killed in the end, it could be as good as murder. A murder that mistakenly appeared justified.
Overall, James MacMillan's The Confession of Isobel Gowdie has left a powerful impression in me. Out of my usual self, when I was listening to this work, I actually found myself loving dissonance!
Do listen to this BBC programme where the composer, James MacMillan, speaks of the work The Confession of Isobel Gowdie:
Also see the composer's notes here: