The Bravery of Women

According to Egyptian legend, Osiris’s body was divided into 14 pieces by his brother, Typhon, who dispersed them across Egypt. Isis, wife of Osiris, set out to gather the pieces of the body, put them together again and become pregnant. Because of her suffering, she was led to create a new state of being for her husband and for herself. The act of reconstructing a body to be a site of regeneration makes a metaphor for the process of rehearsing a musical work. The Bravery of Women (2006-7) concerns the causal role of adversity. In reassembling fragmented phrases from a sonata by J.S. Bach, the violinist echoes the actions of Isis when she reunited her husband’s scattered limbs.

If we think about music in terms of physical action and sound as the consequence of that action, we may consider musical performance in relation to the experiences of our daily lives. The violinist passes through physical encounters with her instrument in the course of performing. The sounds she makes are enriched by the very resistance she meets as she is compelled to move. Overall, those sounds are the result of paths traced in moving from one state of being to another. They are like the flickering of light that meets our eyes with the changing frames of a film.

copyright © N.G.Brown 2006