April showers bring …

April 30, 2016 at 10:00 am

Rainbows! (did you expect something else?)

American composer Christopher Theofanidis‘ best known work is Rainbow Body. Its title comes from Buddhism, when an enlightened soul becomes one with the universe at death.

What I find important about this piece (as well as much of Michael Daugherty‘s works) is its blatant dismissal of the Art Musical styles that dominated the latter half of the 20th century. Gone are the games of playing with dice to write music, number grids and matrixes, electronic beeps and farts; these pseudo-intellectual approaches to composition had slowly eroded away the Art Music audience by the late 70’s.

Rainbow Body shows a real attempt to reconnect with audiences who had become suspicious of modern music (it’s Copland-esque at times), but also has some neat effects which mark it as new and forward looking.