Shom song cycle for voice and accordion
Song cycle for female voice, accordion (with or without a tape).
Text by Rabindranath Tagore.
Duration 28 min (23 min. without the audio CD).
Dedicated to Jutta Seppinen and Satu Niiranen
Fp: Jutta Seppinen and Satu Niiranen, Sellosali, Espoo,
September 20th 2009.
I The Day with the Noise
II Man goes into noisy Crowd I
III The World
IV When the Sun goes down
V Put out the Lamp
VI Man goes into noisy Crowd II
VII The Day with the Noise II
Aforisms by Rabindranath Tagore from Stray Birds:
I "The day with the noise of this little earth drowns the silence of all worlds."
II "Man goes into noisy crowd to drown his own clamour of silence."
III "The world puts off its mask of vastness to its lover. It becomes small as one song, as one kiss of
IV "When the sun goes down to the west, the east of his morning stands before him in silence."
V "Put out the lamp when thou wishest. I shall know thy darkness and shall love it."
Shom, consisting of seven movements and tape, got its inspiration from Indian Nobel writer Rabindranath Tagore´s aforisms which deal with noise and silence. Song cycle proceeds from a hectic weekday (The Day with the noise, Man goes into noisy crowd) into an intimate night (The world, Put out the lamp) and returns back to a restless day. Tape interludes support the transition from clamorous, pure noises of the day towards to the more static night.
The beginning and the end of Shom illustrate the scheduled, atomistic time perception of today, the "24/7" life, in which man is running himself to death. During the second movement Shom begins to slow down little by little towards the middle movement When the sun goes down, which is based on eastern, cyclic time perception and illustrates temporal continuity and stretching of time. After this song as Shom gradually progresses back to busy daylife, it also moves from the western world to the eastern. In the last tape interlude the eastern and western noises "drown the silence of all worlds".
The first and the last movement of Shom are variations of each other, as well as the second and the sixth movement. Shom is composed partly into an open form: the second and the sixth; the third and the fifth movement can switch places, the order is decided by the performers. Shom also contains improvisation: there is an improvised cadenza by accordion in the middle of Man goes into noisy crowd for accordion and the singer has some improvised elements in Man goes into noisy crowd.
The material of the tape was designed with music technologist Jussi Suonikko. Shom is Bengalese and it means a.o. cycle.