Saturday, October 7, 2023

"Spirits Of Dead Relatives Require Food". For String Quartet (With a Review by Melissa Bank)

"Spirits Of Dead Relatives Require Food"

For String Quartet

Bil Smith Composer

Link to Complete PDF

A Review by Melissa Bank

(Melissa Bank, a witty, acerbic writer whose first book, “The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing,” became a global publishing phenomenon)

"Spirits Of Dead Relatives Require Food," conceived for String Quartet beckons us to transcend the confines of notation and embrace the essence of sound itself.

At first glance, the very act of rendering auditory phenomena into standardized notation appears paradoxical. To reduce the multitudes of auditory sensations to mere symbols on a page is to imbue them with a rigid and linear quality. In this endeavor, a precarious illusion emerges—the illusion of "standard" as a mode of listening. Yet, it is Marcel Proust's astute observation that shatters this illusion. The resonance of each note and the cadence of each passage extend beyond the boundaries of notation, manifesting a realm of auditory experience that transcends the rigid constraints of standardized interpretation.

Within the corridors of auditory imagination, the composer becomes both creator and curator, harmonizing the past, present, and future in unity. It is this auditory resonance, this composition of the ephemeral and the eternal, that beckons forth the ancestral spirits. They require sustenance, not of the tangible world, but of the ethereal echoes of their existence, woven into the very fabric of sound. These spirits, as ephemeral as they may be, yearn for sustenance, for acknowledgment and remembrance in the realm of auditory aesthetics.

As one gazes upon the intricate lattice of "Spirits Of Dead Relatives Require Food," it is apparent that its inception is not a mere act of musical composition, but a communion with the souls of the past. The tantalizing and enigmatic echoes of these spirits pervade each note, each passage, leading us on a transcendent auditory journey. In the sonic architecture of this quartet, the auditory echoes of these spirits blend seamlessly with the compositional intentions, invoking an intricate dance between the known and the unknown, the material and the ethereal.

To indulge in poetic rumination is to embrace the grandeur of auditory imagination, as resonances echo through time, binding us to the ancestral echoes that thrive in the realm of sound. The metamorphosis of the quartet, of the physical violins, viola and cello from the radical embodiment of sonic revolution to the elegant piece of furniture, serves as a metaphor for the evolving soundscape that envelops us. In its transformation, we witness the transmutation of auditory experience, the convergence of past and present, and the inexorable yearning of spirits for auditory sustenance.

"Spirits Of Dead Relatives Require Food" beckons us to listen, not as passive recipients of standardized notation, but as seekers of auditory resonance. In this exploration, we encounter the past and present interwoven, ancestral spirits demanding auditory nourishment, and the evolution of sound itself. It is an auditory pilgrimage through the corridors of time, where each note resounds with the echoes of existence, harmonizing the ephemeral with the eternal.

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