Creative interpretation of Cosmos.
Moskow: Russian Academy of Music, 1996 (in Russian).
-156 p. ISBN 57196-0341-7

In today's Russia, the time has come when a number of strange books appeared, books that are scientific in their genre and the form of written style, but metaphoric in content. The prominent example of such occurrences is the herein-reviewed book that deals with the problems of Cosmos embodiment into the Art of Music.

The first chapter of the book is called "Energetics of scientific and artistic thinking". It reveals the specificity of energetic approach as applied to the analysis of musical works, and the entire process of artistic creation is treated here as "the creative synergy between a composer and the Cosmos".

In this chapter the author tries to demonstrate that appearance of artistic works of musical vanguard in the last few decades is the result of influence of energetic information of physical Cosmos on a composer; she states further that in the course of this process there allegedly takes place "the perception of this information by a composer via the psychological equivalents", and, in the last stage, there occurs its subsequent codification in the musical material.

The author of this book is the music master, and, what's more, a woman. By virtue of this fact, her reasonings from the field of exact sciences seem to be spicy but perfectly excusable. Making her conception clear, she, for example, reminds on the cosmological hypothesis of universe origin from "Big Explosion". In her opinion, any explosion must be accompanied by a sound. From here she makes deep conclusions about saturation of Cosmos with sounds, about real existence of "music of spheres" in Cosmos! Thus, she proves very convincingly that together with a woman's logic there can exist also the woman's physics...

If we put now the jokes apart, we can note that the author, based on the metaphors and analogies, makes quite subtle observations and comes to the following theoretical conclusions: in the present-day music, the new composer's technique of "pointillism" is generated by reflection of energetic impulses of Cosmos (e.g.,music by A.Vebern), while the "sonoristics" is, correspondingly, the music of energetic flows (e.g., works of K.Stockhausen and J.Ligety).

The second chapter of this book called "Time and Eternity in Music and Problem of Integral Thinking" deals with studies of time and extra-time in music, viewed through the prism of philosophic and semiotic notion "image of the world. Here the author decoders in details the artistic images and symbols, means of expression, that incarnate the idea of Eternity in music.

Really, I am the former physicist by profession, but I am in twenty minds when reading the following surprising reasons: "Partially, music defeats time by virtue of the fact that it possesses the energy of time and its density. The time density is known to reduce entropy and to create obstacles to destructive forces. Hence, we can say about irradiation of additional time by musical matter!". Perhaps, these statements will be more comprehensible for an other more quick- witted reader of "Leonardo"?

The third chapter titled "Unity of macro- and micro- cosmos and the problem of multidimensional thinking" shows that it is the present day music where the idea of Macro and Micro- Cosmos unity is the basis of the compositional method. Everything is logical here(if we agree with the initial statements of the author).

As a result, E.Magnitskaya arrives to quite normal and trustworthy conclusion: Cosmos became one of the significant objects of creative interpretation in the music of our century; this "musical" Cosmos represents a certain model, in which the artistic senses, images, symbols, patterns, and all other means of expression reconstruct different phenomena of cosmic reality.

The book is provided with detailed bibliography in different languages of the world; it covers such fields of knowledge as philosophy, theology, esotherics, cosmology, history and theory of music. At the end of the book there given the special impressive catalogue of musical works dedicated to the cosmic theme (Ch.Ives, O.Messian, P.Boulez, E.Varese, A.Schnitke, M.Kagel,E.Denisov, D.Cage, K.Penderecky, and others; also given is a great number of music examples. All this alone is indicative of the undoubtful value of this work.

We can agree or not agree with the logic of the specific statements of the author; nonetheless, we can say that any conceptual reasonings and arguments , based on the comparison of "music and cosmos", are legitimate exactly as convincing are (in poetry) any high-style analogies, e.g.,"woman is the acme of perfection", "women are the flowers of life"... Especially, if it is done fine, with subtlety.....

Bulat Galeyev