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A week of Russian Composers

We only need move about tow decades later to get another major figure in Russian music, whose Post-Romantic writing went in a more “impressionistic” direction, some may classify his music, along with the music by those he influenced before Soviet repression, as futurist. Scriabin was an unusual composer; his early works following in Chopin’s footsteps, though all containing something violent underneath. But as his individual style grew, he went in the direction that Schoenberg had predicted the Romantic era was moving towards: chromatic atonality without structured direction. Though the last part isn’t true for Scriabin. His later music breaks the boundaries of conventional tonality, sure, but they are all wonderfully crafted and organized. His other notable feature is his own color/sound synesthesia [chromesthesia] which meant he associated sounds, keys, and pitches with colors. So, if a basic C Major triad produces one basic color, how beautiful would his Mystic chord [C, F#, Bb, E, A, and D] look? Maybe something heavenly like the aurora borealis, or nebula in our galaxy.

Scriabin - Le Poème de l’extase

He had named his third symphony “the divine poem” for its extramusical portrayal of the human spirit, and so he sometimes called The Poem of Ecstasy his “fourth symphony”. That subtitle isn’t used because the work is too unconventional to be considered a symphony; it’s only one movement and has a very loose sonata form. Like his other late period works, he uses exposition and development, but they are not as structurally important. Now, forgive me if this is vulgar, but the work is written like one large build up to a fantastic spiritual orgasm. Much in tune with his philosophical vies of music, he had written a poem that he used to open this work, the same poem also opens the fifth piano sonata:

“Je vous appelle à la vie, ô forces mysterieuses! / Noyées dans les obscures profondeurs / De l’esprit créateur, craintives Ebauches de vie, / à vous j’apporte l’audace!”

“I call to you life, oh mysterious forces! / Drowned in the obscure depths of the creative spirit, timid Shadows of life, / to you I bring audacity!”

And Scriabin also provided this introduction of the work in the program at its premiere:

“The Poem of Ecstasy is the Joy of Liberated Action. The Cosmos, i.e., Spirit, is Eternal Creation without External Motivation, a Divine Play of Worlds. The Creative Spirit, i.e., the Universe at Play, is not conscious of the Absoluteness of its creativeness, having subordinated itself to a Finality and made creativity a means toward an end. The stronger the pulse beat of life and the more rapid the precipitation of rhythms, the more clearly the awareness comes to the Spirit that it is consubstantial with creativity itself. When the Spirit has attained the supreme culmination of its activity and has been torn away from the embraces of teleology and relativity, when it has exhausted completely its substance and its liberated active energy, the Time of Ecstasy shall arrive.”

Stay tuned for more music by Russian composers, this week on Musica in Extenso - Nick Olinger

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The first day of Fashion Week was such a adrenaline rushing/ family reunion day. I went to literally six shows and two after parties last night. Had such a great time sitting next to Dacha Polanco (actress from orange is the new black) at the Houghton show, Met Coco Rocha at the Supima design competition, reunited with all my favorite babes at the Chromat show, had a trippy adventure at the Gareth Pugh Lexus design bash, and I got a sneak preview of G-Star Raw collection.

My Outfit for Fashion Week: Day One:

White Organza Shirt: Sheena Triverdi

Floral Gold Skirt: Sheena Triverdi

Undergarment Bra: Chromat

Shoes: Wasteland

Hair: Brittan White

Makeup: Yuui

Thank you Getty images for these beautiful photos of myself.

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