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Martin Lichtfuss - Komponist und Dirigent Martin Lichtfuss - compositeur et chef d'orchestre

about new church music


When we talk about "contemporary church music", presumably only a minor-ity of people realize that "church" and "contemporary music" share essential qualities - and probably more extensively so than they would like. Both are raddled with ominous manifestations of "hereditary sin". These reveal their effect in the jerk with which the majority of people in our society almost re-flexively withdraw the moment the terms "church" or "contemporary music" are mentioned ...

Should a composer of contemporary sacred music frighten away even the last churchgoers by maintaining the expectations established by a hardcore mi-nority of specialists? Or is the function of church music rather to attract peo-ple, "seducing" them into attending religious ceremonies - for example, by conceding that, irrespective of the materials and techniques involved, con-temporary music might be "beautiful"? This is the "other" side of new sounds. For the fundamentally open-minded listener, the dazzling variegation of a cluster may well correspond to the colours of a triad. Or the magic of a melo-dy may also unfold within the realm of harmonics - a utopian dream? It ap-pears to be "squaring the circle" to apply comprehensive and widely accepted sounds while at the same time maintaining the artistic claims traditionally at-tributed to contemporary music. However, does art have a more important purpose than to strive for utopia?

"Beauty" as a lure?

"Original sin" in common