Myth of the Cave
François Houle (Clarinet/Bass Clarinet)
Ora Boasson (Double-Bass)
Yitzhak Yedid (Piano)
Composition by Yitzhak Yedid. ACUM
Produced by Franz Koglmann and Paul Steinhardt
Recorded at Hazelwood Studios, Frankfurt, Germany
Recording & Mixing engineer: Wolfgang Gottlieb
Cover photography: Gerald Domenig
Design: fuhrer, Vienna
Artistic Director: Franz Koglmann
The composition "Myth of the Cave" is a suite in five movements for Clarinet/Bass Clarinet, Double Bass and Piano, commissioned by -between the lines-.
The fundamental idea of the composition was inspired by Plato's philosophic metaphor "The allegory of the cave":
Human beings sit in a cave, in chains, their backs to the entrance. The shadows of things moving outside are projected by the light onto an inner wall of the cave. As the prisoners have never been outside the cave since birth, they believe these shadows are reality. One of them succeeds to free himself and walks outside into the light. He realizes that he has lived his whole life in the shadow of an illusion. Delighted by his discovery, he returns to the cave to communicate it to the others. Violence erupts between he who ventured to the outside and those who do not want to understand. The story ends with the death of the only person to have ever gained an insight into reality.
I see this allegory as an appropriate metaphor for the difficult reality of our time- a delusional reality, ignorance of the truth and of suffering in the world. The music expresses feelings of criticism, pity, prayer, mercy and a keen desire to recognize the truth.
Performing the composition demands three different approaches of the players.
The first approach is to play precise composed notes and rhythm with full commitment. Nevertheless, the player is expected to give a personal commentary, even up to changing or adding notes, if convinced of their necessity.
The second is to express already presented feelings, thoughts and atmosphere, through deliberately guided improvisational structures.
The third is a choice, either to compose a part thought out in advance, or to improvise without any previous thought.
The composition contains five movements, each of them consists of parts which sometimes will reappear in the other movements as completing or repeating motives. One has to listen to the entire composition, to be able to understand the musical conceptual meaning.
The first movement named "The Crystal Hope", presents ironic hope, fragile and misleading. It opens in a declaration which will reappear in the fifth movement but reversed, symbolizing there, the delusion of the declaration. In the movement there are a few musical themes complementing each other, but later on they gain additional meaning. The part played in 7/8 conveys a feeling of sarcasm and irony. Following, appear themes dramatically different from each other, as though in passing–by episodes. The movement ends with a melancholy melody, rousing reflections, thoughts and wonderings.
The second movement is named "Non Believer's Prayer". As if the non-believer, who chooses to pray after all, his outcry is stronger than that of the believer. But, in spite of it, his prayer will not be fulfilled. The piano describes the surroundings, while the bass clarinet expresses the ongoing prayer in spite of all the non-believer interventions (the piano). The double bass is the outside compassionate viewer, and therefore the untuned crying playing. After a short optimistic part the prayer reappears, this time, as a double bass solo, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful moments of the piece. The following musical development is presented by the parting of the three instruments and reaches its peak with the clarinet's solo. The movement ends with a melody taken from the first movement, also appearing as a prayer, played in unison, disrupted by the double bass pizzicato and ending with a different chord.
The third movement, "Imaginary Ritual", describes a hypothetical, imaginary sick situation, stating, that this ritual is real. The music passes through themes in an unexpected way, seeming illogical. In the improvisational parts the players were asked to describe the "walking on the edge" through borderlines breaking improvisations, neither always logical nor considerable.
The fourth movement, "Liturgical Sorrow", consists of two main parts. In the first very slow part, the clarinet introduces a melancholy melody, accompanied by the piano. I described, the introduced sorrow clarinet's melody, as liturgical, because it is supposed to be accepted without any doubt, just like an orthodox believer's religious acceptance. The piano accompanies with identical harmony (minor 7+), always on the beat. Preceding the end of the first part, appears a double bass solo, showing feelings of shock, fear and lack of control. The second part consists of two sub-parts. The first, played in unison, leads to the second, concluding part, where the clarinet improvises contrasting the piano and the double bass, which continue the unison.
The fifth movement, "Delusion Reality", is a summary and a sober overlooking of the illusionary situation. It is built of a large number of themes, some of them already heard in the previous movements. The delusion appears at first with the piano solo surprisingly changing moods. Following, there is a clarinet playing representing the reality, being disturbed by the piano and double bass, which are not interested in accepting that. The Fugue which appears afterwards, symbolizes the irony. It passes quickly to a dramatic part played in unison, changing dynamics surprisingly and leading to the second delusion, this time played by all three instruments. The finale of the composition is a prayer, the same prayer of the second movement, but now, presented differently, without the non-believer's disturbances, hoping this time to be fulfilled.
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