In the December 2017 issue of Teater.Muusika.Kino
SAALE KAREDA on the festival Afekt
“We have entered into / are in the process of entering completely new situations, where the old – perhaps at one time even extremely avant-garde mechanisms and methodologies – well-acquired techniques and games no longer work if they have no substantive justification. Empty forms can be technically complex and blinding in terms of their virtue; however, if they are not imbued with spirit and soul, there is nothing left to do with them. The quality of a musical piece and performance is determined by the type of consciousness with which the creator and performer approach the music. The form (cf. also reductionist research), which has been developed in its own way to completeness and perfection, is exhausted and transcended by a higher consciousness, which liberates the spirit from its hardened form. The spirit is allowed to flow, and the obsolete structures that have become obstructions are washed away.
In my imagination, the new works by Elis Vesik and Helena Tulve – played at the opening and closing concerts, respectively – formed an inspiring arc over the festival, radiating the courage to enter a new unknown world (in the above-mentioned key). Upon first hearing Elis Vesik’s work for a large symphony orchestra (consisting of four groups) and recording Punctum concursūs in prospectu / Vanishing Point in the Field of Vision, I immediately perceived an archetypal force, one that seems to have appeared in this quality for the first time in Estonian music in Helena Tulve’s orchestral work Sula (Thaw) (1999). But before taking a closer look at this archetypal force, I present a quote from the annotation to Elis Vesik’s new work: “As a composer, I am interested by what affects the ability to be conscious in the present moment and to observe everything around you – silence and noise in their various facets, micro-events in sounds and the musical process, because paradoxically, it seems that the more the process of creating music is connected to the music itself and musical reality, the greater the opportunity it provides to reflect on one’s surrounding existence and its patterns through insights. I look for different structures and harmonies in the hope that there will be some recognition of the cyclical breathing or peace of life.” In the November 2017 issue of Muusika, the composer writes at length about the structural, mathematical, optical, musical, and philosophical background of her work, which may give the impression that her method of writing music is super-intellectual in nature. In reality, especially after listening to Vanishing Point in the Field of Vision, it seems that Elis Vesik possesses a talent where structural/mathematical/theoretical thinking are all very well balanced with intuitive creativity and sensitive openness to the essence of life. Reading Elis Vesik’s article ‘On the Perception of Time in Music’ and listening to her new work, associations were formed with composers who are characterised by a powerful synthesis of intuitive and intellectual origins, such as Tüür’s vector thinking.”