Tonight’s Kaddish is a reading promised to Mira regarding a situation we discussed privately.
My goal in this Kaddish was to remain focused on the emotions of the situation in question while playing, in an attempt to infuse those emotions into the music. I wanted to make a change of approach, from focusing on the technical musical matters of rhythm, notes, pacing, phrasing, shape, and so on, in a technical effort to evoke particular emotions, to embodying those emotions directly and seeing what happened in the music as a result.
I viewed the opening statements and development sections as troubled wandering in the difficulty of the situation.
A new idea came to me about the stopped section (the “why is it stopped here? what does it mean?” spot). As I arrived at that spot, it occurred to me that I hear the questions we have about the use of stopped horn in the passage—the passage asks a question. So I asked the existential questions of the situation in mind as I played that passage: what does it mean? what is one to do?
I viewed the final section—what I’ve been thinking of as the affirmation—as grappling with the impossibility of making life-affirming choices in situations that come wrapped in engulfing sadness.
What are you supposed to do when the impossible might be possible? When the unspeakable has been spoken?