A couple years ago (it looks like just yesterday), I attended a performance of Nielsen Symphony #5 by Birmingham Symphony Orchestra at Warwick Art Centre. Only a couple months ago I found the CD of symphony, and only a couple hours ago I had the time to fully listen to it with no distraction, on a short flight from Yogyakarta to Jakarta. I cannot not exactly describe what I felt, but I guess it was a sensation even Nielsen had not imagined.
Last night I worked in the front of a mirror. Facing my own face, I realised that I was carrying the me I was not really familiar with: another me with awkward ways to express his ideas and feelings. Funny that I could see it, yet without having idea whether it should be overcome, on only to be laughed at. I chose the second. But when entering the plane, I figured that since this is not the real me (you know what I mean), why don’t I create simply create another me. It should be as simple as instantiating a class into an object :D. So I chose not to listen to Wagner or Beethoven; and there came Nielsen ;).
You could read my Indonesian blog or the wiki page discussing the symphony. But I must tell you: it is sensational to listen to it while viewing the sky-wide white clouds among the scarce blue sky. The annoying percussion, the cloud, the misplaced consistent motif of the clarinet, the bluish violet sky, the rich variety of dancing strings, the scarce green land below, the annoying pain inside my head, and I see the soul, of human, of the universe, its history, its law, its mathematic formulas, its perceived causality. Then I realised: I could not create another me. I found the old me that I have so far no time to see and to talk to.
For some obvious reasons, Nielsen would not be as famous as Beethoven or Wagner, or even Debussy or Stravinsky. And I know tomorrow I will listen to Wagner or Stravinsky like a maniac, and I will work like crazy so I will be blind again :). But today I want to (like a grammy awardee) express my deep gratitude 🙂 to Nielsen. Even only for a couple minutes, the symphony had filtered the thick clouds inside my mind, so I could see myself.
Here’s an excerpt of the first movement. Play it only if you have enough time and patience. And, sorry, an excerpt surely cannot replace the complete symphony 😉