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Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Sacred Time

A rather remarkable thread on the increasingly, well, on PrayTell, the topic ranging from Tolkein to Dr Who to Jaroslav Vajda to Ennio Morricone... what caught my eye was Adam Woods comments on the aptness of the chant to fulfill its objectives in regard to occurring in our time but placing us squarely, [yeah, that's a pun...,] in sacred time.
This is music’s role in the Liturgy. All music, but especially unmetered chant, drastically changes our perception of time: seconds feel like they have lengthened into minutes, hours collapse into moments.

This mirrors and evokes the collapse of time that takes place in the consecration, as we create in the present time both the offering of the Last Supper and the Offering on the Cross, collapsing them both, along with the countless other Eucharists of the last 200o years into a present moment ...

The “minimalist” school of composing in the mid 20th cent. was attempting to accomplish artificially what Chant had already achieved naturally- a slowing down of our perception of time to allow a single moment to linger and expand before us, replacing one sense of time (chronos) with a deeper one ....This is also the purpose of the Divine Office: “to sanctify the whole course of day and night.”

Marvelous!

1 comment:

Charles said...

Adam's a smart cookie, G.
I also "got" the minimilist analogy, except for moi, personally, listening to Glass's interminable arpeggios stretches time (minutes to hours, hours to minutes) as if in the waiting room of my dentist. To each their own.

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