Man has no permanent and unchangeable I. Every thought, every mood, every desire, every sensation, says “I”.
When I discovered by chance, through Keith Jarrett’s recordings, the music of G.I Gurdjieff and T.D Hartmann I felt I was a teenager again, discovering the idol of his life.
At the time I didn’t think that I could be enthralled anymore by any music, or at least not that much, as I had already explored a lot and knew what I like and what I didn’t. I had made a journey that I had taken me to various places, from the world of the progressive rock of the 70’s to the planet Jazz and its Coltrane and other Thelonious Monk, from the quiet and insightful sacred music of the pre-renaissance to the masters of the classical era, from the French and Russian avant-garde of the early 20th century to the American minimalists, I thought I knew it all. In fact, it appears that I had missed the unmissable, not having heard of the wonders and magic of Gurdjieff’s musical universe.
I heard the firsts few notes of “Reading from Sacred Books” and I knew straight away that I was to experience something rare so I got myself a copy of the music sheets before going any further and read through to get more familiar with the body of work of the Master. Later I also got some recordings to complete the short selection that Keith Jarrett had made and listened to them with great attention. Some were amazing, diffusing depth of emotions and profound grace (Alain Kremski), while other were quite mediocre, cold, mechanical and without a soul. (I’ll keep their names silent, but there are many)
Making my own selection proved quite challenging. I didn’t know where to start or if I should even start. I doubted. I feared I was not up to the challenge. And yet, a powerful urge to share and spread Gurdjieff’s love pushed me, almost blindly, to go ahead and try my best to express what I felt. I went through the music sheet times after times to finally select 13 pieces which I believed were representative, despite being more than partial, to the wholeness of his work.
I now have finished the first step of my own work, 13 pieces selected, studied, played and recorded. I chose some Songs and Dances, some pieces dedicated to women, some Prayers and Hymns, Orthodox, Christian and Muslim and I also picked some oriental melodies to represent the essence of what is in fact quite a monumental body of work.
The next step will be to orchestrate them. I know it will take a long and dedicated time, but I must take it to make the best work I can to bring a full orchestra to convey the magic of the written notes to the hearts of the listeners.
My first recording of a piano piece by G.I Gurdjieff had to be this one, as it truly echoes in me, both because of its melody and rhythm, as well as for its subject.
2. Persian Song
Persian Song reveals the soft and intimate tone transitions of the oriental scale. This enthralling song is like a sunset after a dark night.
A duduk is an Armenian wind instrument. My Armenian Friend David offered me his own Duduk on the very first time I met him, pretexting he had two. I’ll remember that for ever.
Going crescendo, taking us always a step further than we think we can go, in the world of emotions, Assyrian Women Mourners is one of Gurdjieff’s master piece.
Another Gurdjieff’s piano solo piece, deep like an introspection. To be meditated!
As an interlude, here comes this Allegro giocoso piece, Song of Ancient Rome which is definitely ludic and playful and offer a brief pause from the deep and reflective pieces that my selection proposes.
Deep inside we know that time doesn’t erase time. Deep inside we know that it is an illusion to believe that the storms are only past events, as it may well happen once, twice, or more again….
It is midnight, both on earth and within me. A connection with the outer cosmos, reaching from inside.
It goes beyond words.
10. Women’s Prayer
Touching my inner feminine part, I chose to interpret this Prayer which, through its apparent simplicity, moves me by wakening up my human complexity.
From the prayer to the procession, from austerity to lightness, this piano piece is profoundly grave, and soft.
Totally reinterpreted, and inspired by Alain Kremski’s version of it, I modified the tempo, the pauses and even the octave of some part of this song for a more profound and vibrant music to be heard.
I had planned to interpret only 12 pieces, but reading through this one I couldn’t resist to play it as well. So here it comes, as a bonus track, the 13 and last of my selection, profound, deep, meaningful and insightful, this is Hymn for Easter Thursday.
I have a series of midi files for the pieces listed above and I am ready to share them upon request. They will be licensed under a Creative Common Licence so while you’d be able to interpret them, you’ll have to give me credit for rewriting the music.
All music played on this pages is interpreted and recorded by Cedric Fangeat.
Every pieces have been composed by Gurdjieff / De Hartmann.