Wind and Light consists of seven, scant, compositional pieces. The sparseness of this album is explained by the fact that it is a collection of monophonic melodies. In English, the elements of Wind and Light all serve as documentations of the movements and migrations of a single instrument. Here, this single instrument is either a clarinet or a piano.
Owing to its minimalism, the sonic landscape here is capacious. As such, a symptomatic feature of this album is how each of its components seemingly extend indefinitely, refusing to converge on some determinate boundary. That said, what does provide a limit to this boundless form is silence. In Wind and Light, absences determine the framework. This need not seem strange either: silence marks both beginnings and ends. The silence of a parent signifies their first experience of their child walking. And, the silence of a child signifies their first sighting of their parent's wheelchair.
The clarinet symbolises the breath of the human being, and the piano symbolises the sounds of the landscape. These two instruments, then, represent two concepts. Over and above being distinct, these concepts are parasitic on each other. A truism of our era is that the triumph of the breath of the human being signals the demise of the sounds of the landscape. Another truism of our era is that attempts to prolong the sounds of the landscape hinder the breath of the human being. Maybe this is why the compositions consist of just monophonic melodies.
Let us dig a little deeper. This album takes inspiration from stoic minimalism. The allusion to ancient Greek philosophy is apt. Run with me here. Greek philosophy was dominated by attempts to determine the substance that acted as the sole constituent of reality. For some, this substance was wind (do not ask me how). For others, this substance was water (again, do not ask me how). This view that reality consisted of a single substance was called 'monism.'
Arguably, the idea that the clarinet and the piano represent two distinct concepts is an allusion to this aforementioned monism. The clarinet is the single (sonic) substance that constitutes "song 4 for clarinet (2009)," "song 7 for clarinet (2011)," "song 8 for clarinet (2012)," and "song 10 for clarinet (2016)." Whereas, the piano is the single (sonic) substance that constitutes "piano piece (2013)," "piano piece (2017)," and "piano piece (2018b)."
But, digging deeper still, all is not as it seems. Even though the clarinet and the piano never stray from their respective domains, they do bear some relation to each other. These two instruments act as mirrors of each other; by peering over the walls of silence that determine their individual milieus, they engage in shared habits of movements and migrations. How, then, can the clarinet and the piano represent distinct concepts?
Let us turn back to Greek philosophy again. Aside from the monists, there were the dualists. The latter held the view that reality consisted of two substances. Often, these substances were entirely opposed to each other, just as fire is to water. So, essentially, the dualists claimed that reality consisted of two distinct substances (you probably know what I am going to say here).
Taking this into account, even if the clarinet and the piano represent two distinct concepts, these concepts need not be mutually exclusive. If we are dualists, reality consists of the sum of these two distinct concepts. Contra to the anarcho-syndicalists in Monty Python, then, it is not the case that reality is merely the sounds of the landscape. And, contra to humanists, it is not the case that reality is just the breath of humanity.
This is the lesson that Wind and Light teaches us. It is not that reality consists of a single substance, be it the breath of humanity or the sounds of the landscape. Actually, reality is the totality of these two distinct concepts. It is the breath of humanity with the sounds of the landscape.
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