43 A Musical Fantasia

43 • A Musical Fantasia

Paris, circa 1965
92 × 64 cm; ink on paper

Bottom left: titled Mus 3, edition 19 of 50.
Bottom right: signed (anonymous).

‘Chaos is present everywhere, order remains an impossible ideal.’ M.C. Escher

Anybody brave enough to have tried their hand at a meaningful definition of music will probably at some point have played with the term ‘organized sound’. I’m not sure what John Coltrane would have thought of that but perhaps his free-jazz recording Ascension might be his answer: long improvisations bent on packing in every conceivable note variation and inversion. Perhaps if Ascension was notarized it might look something like this.

There are similarities too with a draft of Giacomo Puccini’s opera ‘The Girl of the Golden West’ displayed last year at The Morgan Library & Museum, New York exhibition ‘The Magic of Handwriting’ and which one contemporary observer described as a frenzy during which the composer sat at the piano ‘nervously tormenting the keyboard, drawing from it thrills of happiness, sighs of sadness, spasms of love, flames of rebellion and tired notes that seem dropped from weeping eyes.’

43 A Musical Fantasia
Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924). The Girl of the Golden West, autograph manuscript draft of a portion of act 1, ca.1908. Collection of Pedro Corrêa do Lago.

‘Somehow I don’t think it’s three beats to the bar.’ Ann Corne