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After discovering music at the age of 5, Gubaidulina immersed herself in ideas of composition. Gubaidulina quickly learned to keep her spiritual interests secret from her parents and other adults since the Soviet Union was against any religious ideas.
She studied composition and piano at the Kazan Conservatory, graduating in In Moscow she undertook further studies at the Conservatory with Nikolay Peyko until , and then with Shebalin until She was awarded a Stalin fellowship. She was supported, however, by Dmitri Shostakovich , who in evaluating her final examination encouraged her to continue down her path despite others calling it "mistaken". In the mids Gubaidulina founded Astreja, a folk-instrument improvisation group with fellow composers Viktor Suslin and Vyacheslav Artyomov.
Her contribution was the Johannes-Passion. The two works together form a "diptych" on the death and resurrection of Christ, her largest work to date. Since , Gubaidulina has lived in Hamburg , Germany. Aesthetic[ edit ] For Gubaidulina, music was an escape from the socio-political atmosphere of Soviet Russia. Gubaidulina is a devout member of the Russian Orthodox church. The koto , a traditional Japanese instrument is featured in her work In the Shadow of the Tree, in which one solo player performs three different instrument— Koto , Bass Koto, and Chang.
The use of the lowest possible registers on the cello opens new possibilities for the instrument while the limited use of chorus also adds a mystical ambience to the work. Another influence of improvisation techniques can be found in her fascination with percussion instruments.
She associates the indeterminate nature of percussive timbres with the mystical longing and the potential freedom of human transcendence. She says, ". These instruments are at the boundary between palpable reality and the subconscious, because they have these acoustics. Their purely physical characteristics, of the timpani and membranophones and so on, when the skin vibrates, or the wood is touched, respond.
They enter into that layer of our consciousness which is not logical, they are at the boundary between the conscious and the subconscious". Bach and Webern. Among some non-musical influences of considerable import are Carl Jung Swiss thinker and founder of analytical psychology and Nikolai Aleksandrovich Berdiaev Russian religious philosopher, whose works were forbidden in the USSR, but nevertheless found and studied by the composer.
She does it through narrower means of intervallic and rhythmic relationship within the primary material of her works, by seeking to discover the depth and mysticism of the sound, as well as on a larger scale, through carefully thought architecture of musical form.
She often treats musical space as a means of attaining unity with the divine—a direct line to God—concretely manifest by the lack of striation in pitch space. She achieves this through the use of micro-chromaticism i. This notion is furthered by her extreme dichotomy characterized by chromatic space vs.
Finally, another important melodic technique can be seen with her use of harmonics. When talking about her piece Rejoice! Sonata for Violin and Violoncello, Gubaidulina explains, The possibility for string instruments to derive pitches of various heights at one and the same place on the string can be experienced in music as the transition to another plane of existence.
And that is joy. As Gerard McBurney states: In conversation she is most keen to stress that she cannot accept the idea a frequent post-serial one of rhythm or duration as the material of a piece. To her, rhythm is nowadays a generating principle as, for instance, the cadence was to tonal composers of the Classical period; it therefore cannot be the surface material of a work. Specifically, she often utilizes elements of the Fibonacci sequence or the Golden Ratio , in which each succeeding element is equal to the sum of the two preceding elements i.
This numerical layout represents the balanced nature in her music through a sense of cell multiplication between live and non-live substances. She believes that this abstract theory is the foundation of her personal musical expression. The "Golden Ratio" between the sections are always marked by some musical event, and the composer explores her fantasy fully in articulating this moment.
The first work in which Gubaidulina experiments with this concept of proportionality is Perceptions for Soprano, Baritone, and Seven String Instruments , rev. The sequence was especially appealing because it provides a basis for composition while still allowing the form to "breathe". Later the Lucas and Evangelist series, sequences derived from that of Fibonacci , were added to her repertoire. Piano music[ edit ] This section of a biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification.
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