Paul Fretwell: Hidden Courts

  • ©, , Hidden Courts


    Hidden Courts

Artist(s) and People Involved:


Artist Statement:

    This electro-acoustic piece illustrates certain issues that are part of my compositional research. Primarily this involves the concept of sound-gesture as a means of communication. Recorded sources are transformed by various procedures, developing them above anything one would hear in the natural world. These “supra-natural” sounds can be described as exaggerated sonic sign stimuli, or sound-symbols. They affect an audience through the listener’s own innate knowledge of gestural behavior, eliciting an empathic response.


    Based on my description of sounds as symbols, I develop the analogy between music and myth (myth being a language of symbols). In Hidden Courts, myth is used as a structural device. I avoid simplistic programmatic interpretations by deriving the structure from many myths that share the same archetypal pattern, rather than following a particular tale. The concept of an unattainable paradise is the basis of Hidden Courts, an ideal state of which we can only ever have brief glimpses throughout our lives. The climactic point in the piece corresponds to a sudden vision of this eternal beauty. However, to provide a context for this moment, a primarily musical discourse is built up throughout the piece. The title of my piece refers to the Court of Joy in Arthurian legend, an otherworldly realm where only happiness is known.


All Works by the Performer(s) in This Archive: