War and Romance, Honey and Chickens Mar 5, 2010

by Monique

Last night, with so much to look at, listen to, and comprehend, I found myself ebb back and forth between both overwhelming curiosity and peaceful enjoyment. Listening to the music of Heiner Goebbels, performed by Seattle Chamber Players and Pacific Musicworks was a mind whirling treat. Three works in length, the show was a smooth transition from a short overture, to an amusing rendition of Monteverdi’s II Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda (where I was highly intrigued by the Monty Python –esque character reenactments) to the third, hour long piece by Goebbels. Incorporating the words of Gertrude Stein, Goebbels constructed an atmosphere that completely enveloped my attention. Captured by the vocal commentary of the women musicians, I was led to develop my own story about war and romance, honey and chickens. At times I took notice of fully developed thoughts achieved between both musicians and narrators. Other times felt abstract, pulled apart, full of the repetition and confusion found within a time of war. The music worked both as the main story line, intertwining with the spoken words, as well as a form of punctuation, coming in at just the right moments to emphasize and further develop the ambiance. Occasionally I became intrigued by the romance of war, the simple stories of those who survived and those who were lost. I would then find myself drawn away from the idea of romantic warfare and look at the harsh realities. While listening to Goebbels composition I kept coming back to music and text as a channel for the artistry that revolves around times of crisis. I am left reflecting the notion that stories of people within the chaos and the appreciation of the simple things, when the simple things are not available, are captivating to tell.