Saturday, November 27, 2010

Messiaen, the Not-Mystic

"When asked if he has ever felt the 'joy of mysticism' (a moment of epiphany, of certainty) during the act of composing, the response is a resolute, 'No, not at all. When I am working, there are so many things that require immediacy, so many details to manage, that all I can do is be attentive to what I am doing. I do not experience what you mean. I do not contemplate but act.'" (Olivier Messiaen, from The Reinvention of Religious Music: Olivier Messiaen's Breakthrough Toward the Beyond, Sander van Maas, "It Is a Glistening Music We Seek".)

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