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Archaic Ontologies Nowadays: Music of Rituals

Authors: Luminiţa Duţică, Gheorghe Duţică


Many of the interrogations or dilemmas of the contemporary world found the answer in what was generically called the appeal to matrix. This genuine spiritual exercise of re-connection of the present to origins, to the primary source, revealed the ontological condition of timelessness, ahistorical, immutable (epi)phenomena, of those pure essences concentrated in the archetypal-referential layer of the human existence. The musical creation was no exception to this trend, the impasse generated by the deterministic excesses of the whole serialism or, conversely, by some questionable results of the extreme indeterminism proper to the avant-garde movements, stimulating the orientation of many composers to rediscover a universal grammar, as an emanation of a new ‘collective’ order (reverse of the utopian individualism). In this context, the music of oral tradition and therefore the world of the ancient modes represented a true revelation for the composers of the twentieth century, who were suddenly in front of some unsuspected (re)sources, with a major impact on all levels of edification of the musical work: morphology, syntax, timbrality, semantics etc. For the contemporary Romanian creators, the music of rituals, existing in the local archaic culture, opened unsuspected perspectives for which it meant to be a synthetic, inclusive and recoverer vision, where the primary (archetypal) genuine elements merge with the latest achievements of language of the European composers. Thus, anchored in a strong and genuine modal source, the compositions analysed in this paper evoke, in a manner as modern as possible, the atmosphere of some ancestral rituals such as: the invocation of rain during the drought (Paparudele, Scaloianul), funeral ceremony (Bocetul), traditions specific to the winter holidays and new year (Colinda, Cântecul de stea, Sorcova, Folklore traditional dances) etc. The reactivity of those rituals in the sound context of the twentieth century meant potentiating or resizing the archaic spirit of the primordial symbolic entities, in terms of some complexity levels generated by the technique of harmonies of chordal layers, of complex aggregates (gravitational or non-gravitational, geometric), of the mixture polyphonies and with global effect (group, mass), by the technique of heterophony, of texture and cluster, leading to the implementation of some processes of collective improvisation and instrumental theatre.

Keywords: Archetype, improvisation, instrumental theatre, polyphony, ritual.

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