Jump to page content Skip to navigation
22 November 2018

Rebecca Saunders | get real – rainy days 2018

von Philharmonie Luxembourg

«Let out the monster»

What is music’s relationship to reality?

Which or whose reality? But I don’t see a separation – music is deeply anchored in reality: music filters and frames reality, opens up the cracks in the veneer of the here and now – written within, out of, for and because of the present moment.

How important are the realities outside of the concert hall for your composition?

A sonic image can re-define and re-contextualise that which is experienced, heard, felt and seen, and also that buried deep within us: whether hidden, ignored, the feared, the oh-too-beautiful or the so very disgusting. There is no one-to-one transaction though – it is a continous, complex, and often messy, process.

What is the opposite of reality for you?

Sleep or dreams? Although some dreams make much more sense than the waking day.

Music is the only art that has a word for «extramusical ». Is music further removed from reality than the other arts?

Well I don’t think any art forms are as such removed from reality. But perhaps music’s strength and magic lies in that it cannot be put in a box or stuck on a wall – it is indeed a miserable capitalist commodity, slipping through ones finger, unpossessable, fleeting. It’s the very unnameable in music that I find so fascinating – the absence of a specific and immediately recognisable image, and its capacity to imply and infer. Neither an illustration nor a representation, it is nevertheless a physical thing in itself, which invites us to feel,

think, observe and, if you would like, to succumb. And it invites us to focus on the moment, the absolute here and now, to bracket out and disregard the clutter. Indeed it seems in the present social-political climate a thing of great worth that fixes us for a moment in space and time to focus and concentrate on the here and now, to contemplate and be contemplated: the frayed edges, the dirty cracks in the veneer – zoom in, open them up, unleash a new sonic space or environment, peel back the skin, seek the essence beneath, let out the monster, give voice to the here and now.

Concerts