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Harmonic Progressions: Changes Through Time in Music, Philosophies and Contexts

8 September 2016

Using iconic works by Mozart and Debussy and an upcoming work by Cambodian composer Him Sophy (to be premiered in late 2017) as starting points, this presentation reflects on the complex yet close relationship through time between transformative shifts in humanity’s self-perception and great art. 

The identified works build out from more aspirational elements of our collective consciousness but the presentation will also reflect that there are of course other pieces and styles which grow from darker or more ambiguous starting points. While some time will be given to sharing relevant philosophical or political contexts for the works, the majority of the presentation will look in more detail at actual musical material, proposing ways in which the contexts can be argued to have influenced the musical choices involved. 

A further thread will be to examine how elements of earlier or distant contexts outside the works themselves (i.e. from the past or from elsewhere) can also be seen as stimuli for music that offered energy to their ‘present’: in this sense, it could be argued that many works transcend their present to offer also light to later worlds including our current one.

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