Composers Corner Podcast: Octavian Nemescu - Side B


November 22, 2017

Octavian Nemescu is a Romanian composer of orchestral, chamber, choral, electroacoustic, multimedia, metamusic, imaginary, and ritual works that have been heard throughout Europe and elsewhere. Heading the BA program in Electroacustic music at the National University of Music in Bucharest.

Through many years, from his youth, Octavian Nemescu contributed decisively to the development of the avant-garde in Romanian music. He is representing the second and last generation of its kind (the generation of the 70's), which launched a new avant-garde, who has as main goal not the negation of the tradition (as previous generation did), but the recovery of the origins, of the primordiality existent at the fundament of all musical traditions, in the spirit of an innovative recovery and with the desire of coming to a new artistic universality. This generation may be considered also as the first one to have an aspiration of postmodern character.

Octavian Nemescu is preoccupied in his artistic works by the recovery of the teleological dimension of the music (removed by many of the 20th century composers, which cultivate music with no direction of evolution, of transformation and of finality, a music that leaves the impression in the finale that the time stopped at that point). Nemescu's endings involves, most of the times, a Liberation, a Revelation, an Escape from the previous state, by introducing new instruments and, generally speaking, by an innovation in timbre or in dynamics. In many of his works, one can also notice a transition from performing the music to practicing the music (together and later individually), which is offered to the person who wishes to know it (the performer or the spectator), with the goal of an improvement of his moral state.

Some of his works are created specifically for a certain time and space (Gradeatia - music for the ambience of a cloister 1982, Natural-Cultural-music for sunrise, on a mountain top 1973-83, Sonatu(h)r- music for the ambience of an orchard, in the time of blossom of the trees, at dusk 1986, Trisson - night music for the ambience of a temple 1987, Finalpha - music for dusk, with clouds, preceding a storm 1990). This is also the case for the work dedicated to the 24 hours of day and night. For those works the idea is to go on an initiatic journey, on the path of the sounds, to the World Beyond. It is about the 12 hours of the exit, of the removal of the ego from its 4 bodies: physic, ethereal, astral and mental and it's coming back home, traveling from midnight (the physic state) to the day (state of total liberation) followed, possibly, by other 12 hours of the Exile, of the falling again to the terrestrial area, on the reverse route.

The sonorous evolution of Nemescu's works highlights a certain type of music, influenced by World music vision, where the Asian spirit or generally speaking non-European spirit is brought to a synthesis, to a symbiosis with the European, archaic, traditional spirit, absorbed in the modernity and in the natural assimilated in culturality.

Octavian Nemescu's music was performed in many important cultural centers in Europe, Asia and in the US. Some of his works are recorded, recently, on 10 CDs. There are also many CDs (edited in Romania or in other European countries) where pieces by Nemescu may be found alongside other major contemporary works.

Side B mixtape by Miron Ghiu.


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