The Past and Present in a Musical Work, 2020r.
The Culture and Tradition of the East in the Theater Music of Piotr Salaber
Piotr Salaber is an artist who has worked in the field of theatre music for many years. The fact that he has written almost 120 scores testifies to his expertise in this area. Moreover, the sheer number of performances, their thematic and stylistic diversity, and the multitude of functions and meanings encapsulated in this music is evidence of Salaber’s uncommonly creative imagination. It demonstrates his ability to convey the idea of an integral stage work; an idea that manifests itself not only in the dramatic, musical and emotional narrative of the work, but also in the interpenetration and connection between the eter- nal universal rules governing representation art on the one hand, and new areas of sound imagination on the other. Such an approach has provided the composer with a creative platform for exploiting both european musical traditions and the artistic and traditional music of other cultures.
This article endeavours to show Piotr Salaber’s understanding of the cul- ture and musical traditions of the east. It describes the various sources of inspi- ration in Russian, Persian, chinese music that the composer drew upon for his motifs and harmony. It also presents the different methods (and effects) of play- ing ethnic instruments (the didgeridoo, Persian ney, Russian wooden spoons) employed by Salaber as well as, for example, his use of aliquot singing.
Such an approach serves to justify two of Salaber’s ideas regarding creativ- ity: that theatre music relies on the employment and application of the skills required to navigate one’s way through very different styles, languages and eras; and the parallel belief that this genre serves as a vehicle (the most im- portant in the performing arts) of communication between the artist and the audience.
prof. Aleksandra Kłaput-Wiśniewska