Musique électroacoustique latino-américaine

Rajmil Fischman, And I Think to Myself ..., 2001

Durée de l'enregistrement : 21 min 25 s.

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And I think to myself … Wisdom ; Courage ; Temperance-Peace … what a wonderful world

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world
(George Weiss / Bob Thiele. Song popularised by Louis Armstrong)

In Plato's book, The Republic, Socrates describes an ideal society, which rests on four cardinal virtues: wisdom, courage, temperance and justice. While the interpretation of these virtues may be peculiar to Plato's own thinking and probably heavy handed by modern standards, most of us, human beings, seem to have an innate inclination to adopt them as essential human values. We admire wisdom and courage, or at least recognise their validity. We often aspire to some sort of stability, order and peace, ensured by temperance. We demand justice!
Indeed, we all seem to want similar things. However, wisdom, courage, temperance and justice have distinct, often incompatible meanings to different people and social groups, posing a colossal obstacle towards that 'wonderful world'. Is this why, when we look around we do not only see trees of green and red roses? In fact, we know of places where these sights have disappeared or been supplanted by misery and destruction. We hear babies who cry out of hunger or fear and who may not learn much even if they live to become adults. We experience violent upheavals in the name of high concepts and learn about a world in which the soul of most revolutions seem to live for one generation, being overwhelmed by the violence that made these same revolutions possible. We sense a ruthless order, which has given birth to 'terror by the few', whether these minorities are social dissidents or ruling governments. We find ourselves not only fighting for land, riches, power or even justice, but also, paradoxically, often 'fighting for peace' (is this not the best way to ensure that peace never comes?).
Against this background, And I think to myself … provides a musical externalisation of the thoughts and emotions resulting from a virtual 'stroll' through a reality admittedly far from Plato's utopia. Its sections are intended to be a contemporary commentary on the Socratian virtues evolved from Plato's time to our incipient third millennium. There are three central movements corresponding to the realisation of wisdom, courage and temperance. These are preceded by an introduction and followed by a conclusion; respectively related to the quotes of Weiss and Thiele's song Wonderful World. The listener is free to speculate on the reason for not having a section entitled 'Justice'.
Finally, the following people should be acknowledged for their contribution to the realisation of this piece: Mr. George W. Bush for his 'Wisdom', Mr. Anthony Blair for his 'Courage'. Messrs Yasser Arafat and Ariel Sharon, for their contribution to Temperance-Peace, who, in this case, seem to have achieved a sense of balance and harmony despite their profound ideological and political differences*.

I hear babies cryin', I watch them grow
They'll learn much more than I'll ever know
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world
Yes, I think to myself, what a wonderful world
(Weiss / Thiele)


* Arafat (Arabic): You have humiliated us [by attacking] the house of our Head of State, the Airplanes of our Head of State, the Guards of our Head of State, the Office of our Head of State.

* Sharon (Hebrew): This time, Arafat will not mock us. He will not make a mockery of the government I head.

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