Tuesday, November 26, 2013

a little something about Scriabin

1872 - 1915

Many folks look askance at the fellow, and some are perplexed by his music. Many consider his compositions to be emotionally plethoric, structurally diffuse, thematically unhinged. Reading his biography by Faubion Bowers (Dover Publications), one is tempted to apply those descriptors to his personality as well. Musically and personally, he was assuredly a weird appearance on planet Earth. 

His childhood was spent among women only, who fussed over him and spoiled him thoroughly. All children, up to a certain age of socialization (an integrating of others' existences), are intensely grounded in ego, in complete self-being. I don't think Scriabin ever managed to fully extricate himself from himself -- he remained a child of sorts all his life. Thus, the world was always an aspect or analog of himself. His ego-infatuation eventually turned into megalomania -- a case in point is his Mysterium.

Many baby-boomers have something in common with Scriabin. Parents tended, in general, to lavish attention and material gestures on us. Hence, the emergence of some neurotic hippies. Many of us became crystallized into shapes of self-being. Socialization was iffy, erratic, ostensible, problematic. Estrangement from others causes an aversion to their consensus, goes-without-saying reality. 

For those who couldn't pull off a convergence with the public world and its "sane" forms of being, despair became an option. Or else we drifted into precincts of otherness as such (the world of infinite imagination).

It's about opening up frontiers of fantasy. Even if the impulse is colored, tainted by a certain decadence of self-absorption. However it gets made, the making of aesthetic objects is an alternative to traditional forms of being, to what convention deposits into the space of collective living. 

I dare say that many of us peculiar baby-boomers who are instinctively oriented to the arts, who have a creative impulse should look upon Scriabin as an example of metaphysical possibility (a kind of exotic, ghostly mentor for painting and poetry). 

I respond not only agreeably but also spiritually to Scriabin's music -- how it tilts toward and expresses another way of being than the conventional.  Scriabin opened up unheard-of aesthetic geography. Those "superfluous" worlds he created in sound have, I think, something in common with that dreaming abyss beneath time and substance. Listening to Scriabin's music has the effect of making the word "reality" (nature and norms) a quite dubious thing.

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