Concert: In silence
Already in Antiquity Pythagoras claimed that „music awakens in the heart a desire for good deeds.” Last century Henryk Elzenberg argued that “culture is an attempt to force history to serve value.” In these pandemic, difficult times people are getting increasingly anxious, fearful or uncertain. The overlapping crises of the ecosystem, economy, public sphere, social trust and solidarity pose unique challenges to us. a response to what is going on cannot consist only in cutting the losses. It should be a constructive vision of how to build a new, open and democratic community as well as how to regenerate the public sphere.
Culture has at its disposal important tools and musicians have key competences which should now be used: imagination making it possible to develop new models of communication and cooperation, ability to shape a new language for describing reality and building a situation of a real encounter with the Other. In its activities the Royal String Quartet has demonstrated many times that not only does it set new trends in contemporary music, but it also actively participates in the public sphere. In order to launch its transforming potential, culture must reorganise its own logic of operation, revising the primacy of competition and individualism in favour of cooperation, solidarity and community. The ensemble’s new project provides for a shift from the sphere of difficult emotions towards calm and harmony through performance activities of the highest quality, by demonstrating an accessible – although not devoid of metaphysics – side of classical music.
„In silence” is a concert confronting various styles of composers active in various periods in the history of music. It demonstrates that despite these differences we can find in them a common denominator of the sacred. In addition, it shows that contemporary music, said to be inaccessible or cacophonous, has many still undiscovered assets; for example, it can bring us relief from the excess of decibels, information, problems and concerns swamping us in quarantine.