frank stemper

Modern Rituals for a Primitive Society (1994)
for oboe, clarinet, bassoon, violin, 'cello, piano and percussion   -   15 minutes


Originally composed for the Archaeus Ensemble of Romania, Modern Rituals for a Primitive Society is a series of dances that might be performed on a warm breezy night under an open sky.  Each dance has a specific purpose, but that purpose can only be defined by each individual dancer.  For example, during Ritual III one dancer might be exhibiting pathos, while another ecstasy and yet another humor.  The dancers, therefore, don't really understand the universal meanings of these rituals, nor that of the music that inspires the corresponding dances.  Each can only grasp their personal meanings, as the music reflects their own desires and inner thoughts.  In this regard, this music, which by modern intellectual thought is somewhat naive, will still have a wide variety of interpretations, or misinterpretations, for the society that hears and misunderstands it.  In misinterpreting its art, society cures the problems of its soul and stimulates its intellectual growth, and while each of these misinterpretations is valid, and that each listener will be allowed his or her own interpretation is fundamental to artistic communication, our society must remain primitive in order to advance.



Last Updated: August 20, 2008

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