Classical Music: George Gurdjieff

George Gurdjieff (1866? – 1949) believed that most people lived their lives in a “waking sleep.” He believed that we could awaken to a higher state of consciousness if we put our minds to it.
Gurdjieff, ink drawing by David Borden
G. I. Gurdfieff

In the mid-1920s he composed music with Thomas de Hartmann, which focused on Central Asian folk music. I find his chants, hymns and dances, recorded by Vassilis Tsabropoulos and Anja Lechner, ECM Records 2004 a wonderful escape from the crush of the world. The music is subtle and full of empty space. For me, the music flows forward and recedes. It fades into the abyss, and when you forget you are listening to music, it slides back. I think that is what Gurdjieff wanted.

These songs provide the soundtrack to a solitary practice.

Here is an example:

Chant from a holy book-Solaris Quartet


Gurdjieff's chants, hymns, and dances, along with certain works by Phillip Glass, Max Richter, and Beethoven (at his most melancholy) are the works that I gravitate toward when I want to slide out of this world and spend a few blissful minutes in another.

#classicalmusic #Gurdieff #solitude #transcendence #joy #happiness

Popular Posts