The Music of Bach and Gurdjieff/De Hartmann
An Interview with Yleana Bautista
In an interview at the Fundación Gurdjieff Argentina, Yleana Bautista spoke (in Spanish, with musical clips) about the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and that composed by the remarkable collaboration of G. I. Gurdjieff and Thomas de Hartmann. (Scroll down for the English translation.)
I will be playing music of Johann Sebastian Bach and George Ivanovich Gurdjieff/Thomas De Hartmann. Why have I chosen these two composers?
I choose Bach because there is a connection with this capacity of man, intellectually speaking, to connect himself with something higher. There is a structure, a capacity of synthesis, a capacity of language; there is something that is expressed with much clarity let us say. Like a fugue (she plays the opening statement of a Bach fugue) it has much clarity, order. Bach also composed very expressive melodies. [She plays an example] It touches something very fine inwardly, about the capacity of man to connect himself with another place.
Mr. Gurdjieff’s music comprises more than 200 different pieces, beginning with folkloric style music of the middle East –Hindu, Armenian–music that is not at all known in the west, including by me. When I first came close to this music I discovered the hymns –for example, prayers from the Orthodox Christian church. Then there came a moment when I approached the Temple Hymns, and I discovered an enormous ignorance on my part, I didn’t understand anything. I didn’t understand the form in which it was written, I didn’t understand the harmony. In all western music, for example [she plays the ending to a Bach fugue], that’s a cadence, as it’s called. But with the music of Mr. Gurdjieff… For example, the first Temple Hymn [she plays the beginning of this piece with a look of complete wonderment and questioning on her face, then raises her hands on either side of her shoulders in the classic position of questioning] and you say to yourself “What?” “How?” “Why?”