Humour accompanied by solemnity. To Beppe, these moods are reciprocally coexisting.

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The collective understanding of sounds

Tones seem to be universally perceived around the world.
What you hear, you may (or may not) react to. Languages convey meaning, semantics. But the question is: can you grasp the connotations or associations in lyrics performed in a language you do not speak yourself?

I believe so. If you hear a song in a foreign language, you may get a different yet meaningful experience, even if you do not understand the language.
I have chosen to re-release three albums with their original lyrics because I believe there is a collective understanding of sounds  the musical significance in every syllable that fills a melody.

I define any text I produce as I define the music in what I create. Lyrics are transnational; they travel easily, freed from the conventions of geographical and political borders. Basically, you can decipher meaning from anything you hear. To me, lyrics are often a part of the overall mood and sound picture of a melody, rather than something that speaks for a specific nationality or belongs to a defined geographical area through the language used. The actual words and the semantics of the text narrow the songs down, while I think of the lyrics as opening the songs out.
 
Through the years I have released several albums, with different types of music: orchestral music, chamber music, electroacoustic works, songs and surreal poems. But if anyone were to ask me which genre or album I rate the highest, I would not be able to choose. I cannot rank the albums. I have come to apprehend that genres are just man-made niches to help define artistic expressions of music in order to perhaps make it easier to relate to what you hear. Putting music into a niche creates some sort of order and stability. 

My albums are often conceptual. A story is told whether I sing and play the guitar or an orchestra performs a concerto. I wish to discard any pre-existing notion of what to expect from a release. I never look to a specific genre or think that I have to make an orchestral music album to sound credible or elevated.
It is just as important for me to publish a song as to publish a flute concerto. The songs, the humour and the symphonic poems go hand in hand. Laughter, mystery and surrealism are equally significant. These elements combined create a "third eye" in what I make, and they are all a part of The FJB Fingerprint.

What about me personally as composer and artist? Am I as transnational as the expressions of art? To be honest, I realised some years ago that I needed to free myself from the nationality concept.
I belong nowhere and everywhere (well, perhaps even outside the world), just as the melodies and lyrics I have written do. I cannot feel pledged to a country if the country is teeming with bigotry and backward-thinking people. I have to be honest with myself, and therefore I have in many ways become exiled. I cannot find peace where human rights are violated and where such violation is actually helped by a democratic process: amateur politicians without any actual knowledge about human rights and respect for personal autonomy are elected into parliament, and they may pass legislation based on prejudice and incompetence.

I create art to counter the dark shadows that loom in the background. This helps me exist in this world. Basically, my whole production is a proclamation for personal freedom and a statement against bigotry. What I do, I do intuitively: I breathe in impressions and breathe out expressions.

There is one thought I cannot escape, the possibility that in the moment we are born, we fall into a situation in which we are stuck, since death seems to be so inextricably connected to birth. Perhaps human beings gradually register this subconsciously, and a common way to endure the invisible restraint of death approaching is to spin life-lies: to pretend for the sake of one's own happiness, or simply to maintain the will to exist.

Life-lies can take many shapes, and they are often coloured by moralism, politics, religion and the determination to impose one's own convictions and "truths" on others. Even though this might be seen to be both egocentric and cruel, the brain is perhaps programmed to keep one alive, and the accrued convictions feed the lies. Consequently, these deceptions gain a foothold as accepted conventions for a majority of people. It seems like death is the only way out of this lifelong confinement, and human beings find it comfortable to follow these conventions life-lies as I call them as death draws nearer. Meanwhile, the charade is unfolding, and human beings keep deluding themselves.
 
It is difficult for me to intellectually rationalise about this, being myself a part of the travesty, and being constantly reminded of, and confronted with, life-lies. Furthermore, it is beyond my comprehension how human beings can let intolerance and "moral hysteria" lead the way, and by so doing effectively undermine real personal autonomy and balanced thinking.

Still, I have moments of seeing pure innocence, and I occasionally experience inexplicable euphoria, and this is what makes it credible for me to justify making art, and staying alive. My sensory system is wide open, and I cannot close my eyes even if I wished. I am reminded of this every day and it is a constant fight, because I feel alienated in society, and I find it hard to lie to myself.
 
If our existence is a tunnel starting with our delivery into a life of being stuck then maybe, at the end of the tunnel, there is an opening, a relief from confinement. There is a fifty-fifty chance of this, as I see it. We just have to wait and see.

For now, I am in the middle of this tunnel, trying to communicate a universal language that will conceivably be understood by those of us who dare to lift our gaze: the collective understanding of sounds.





I create art to counter the dark shadows that loom in the background. This helps me exist in this world. Basically, my whole production is a proclamation for personal freedom and a statement against bigotry. What I do, I do intuitively: I breathe in impressions and breathe out expressions.


Published January 24, 2017

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