Six songs for 6 percussionists and 1 soprano, by
Carl Unander-Scharin, 2006,
commissioned by the Kroumata Percussion Ensemble,
for themselves and for Erika Sunnegårdh.
- First performance at Nybrokajen 11, Feb 7, 2007
- Recorded and broadcasted by Swedish Radio
- Presented at the Rostrum in Paris, June 2007
- Nominated to Musikförläggarnas pris 2007 (Swedish Music Publishers Association)
Sample of printed music:
Programme note by Carl Unander-Scharin, feb-07:
“Albert Einstein (1879-1955) was one of the most prominent persons in the 20th century science. His theories are fundamental to modern physics, and they have formed our perception of the world. Einstein was also a profoundly engaged human, who wrote books, lectures, and letters where he discusses his viewpoint on humanity.
“The World As I See It” is a piece in a series of works by Carl Unander-Scharin, where texts are chosen from various spiritual traditions. The deeply felt sense of humanism in Einstein’s texts, give nurture to six dramatic and semi-staged songs about our world.”
1. How strange is the lot of us mortals!
"How strange is the lot of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people -- first of all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness is wholly dependent, and then for the many, unknown to us, to whose destinies we are bound by the ties of sympathy."
2. The Pigsty
"I have never looked upon ease and happiness as ends in themselves -- this critical basis I call the ideal of a pigsty. The ideals that have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth. Without the sense of kinship with men of like mind, without the occupation with the objective world, the eternally unattainable in the field of art and scientific endeavors, life would have seemed empty to me. The trite objects of human efforts -- possessions, outward success, luxury -- have always seemed to me contemptible.
"My political ideal is democracy. Let every man be respected as an individual and no man idolized. But the led must not be coerced, they must be able to choose their leader. In my opinion, an autocratic system of coercion soon degenerates; force attracts men of low morality... The really valuable thing in the pageant of human life seems to me not the political state, but the creative, sentient individual, the personality; it alone creates the noble and the sublime, while the herd as such remains dull in thought and dull in feeling. "
4. The Military System
"This topic brings me to that worst outcrop of herd life, the military system, which I abhor... This plague-spot of civilization ought to be abolished with all possible speed. Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism -- how passionately I hate them!"
5. The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious
"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed.
It was the experience of mystery -- even if mixed with fear -- that engendered religion. A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, our perceptions of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which only in their most primitive forms are accessible to our minds: it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute true religiosity. I am satisfied with the mystery of life's eternity and with a knowledge, a sense, of the marvelous structure of existence -- as well as the humble attempt to understand even a tiny portion of the Reason that manifests itself in nature.