Thursday, November 14, 2013


Still from my upcoming film "Tides"
Copyright Vivi-Mari Carpelan

This is a little ditto, a short minimalist remix of Verdi's Ave Maria, based on a vintage acapella recording from way back in time. The reason I used it is because I wanted an Ave Maria and it was the only copyright-free piece I could find (it's from Musopen). It's also for my current film project "Visible/Invisible". I'm sure it's not to everyone's taste but all I can say is that I myself have developed into being more receptive to unusual sounds and really enjoy a lot of minimalist, repetitive music. I find it strangely compelling as it disrupts my expectations of what music can be. Repetition creates structure where there aren't so many notes. A straigtforward narrative (through words, imagery, sounds etc) can often feel too conventional. A good story is great, but it's often more entertaining than meaningful. Westerners are so used to a logic that takes you from a-z - it is embedded in our alpabhet. Think of the Chinese and how their alphabet comprises entire concepts without a succession of letters (I studied Chinese so I know... it's an entirely different and more intuitive way of perceiving the world). In this respect I seem to often prefer a sort of middle ground, something that isn't too logical and straightforward.

Unfortunately the original recording was very distorted. I had to cut off huge chunks and that gave me the idea of reworking it altogether. I liked the parts that are dominated by male voices, and liked the female parts less. I also found a more personal sound by doing this. There's something very "me" in the way this little piece came out. I know, it's not very sophisticated. I haven't quite worked out how to begin and end something like this so it sounds smoother - I will no doubt rework the beginning. It was just an experiment and not really meant to stand on its own, however it made me want to do more similar stuff but with my own voice!
All the older versions of Ave Maria (Bach/Gounod, Schubert, Verdi, Caccini) are deeply meaningful to me in terms of a specific feeling in them, which I sense in all of the versions. It's also reflected in my name. Ave Maria means "Hail Mary", a salutation offered to Virgin Mary by Angel Gabriel. No, I'm not Catholic, however I believe that names are often deeply meaningful and given to us through intuitive insight from our parents. While Mary is no doubt the archetypal mother Earth, Vivi refers to life and being lively and animated. 

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