In a world where music has been trivialised, turned into quick-hit, throwaway fodder, its true power and purpose. Before contemporary music became the stuff of commerce rather than creativity, classical and early music was the true sonic currency able to talk about the heavens above, describe whole seasons in the sweep of a bow, unify nations, move people to tears, to be powerful and poignant and full of purpose.
Peter Xifaras understands this only too well and has crafted a suite of contemporary classical music in six movements with the hope of raising awareness for the plight of those caught up in the recent events in places such as Afghanistan and Ukraine and more broadly, to bring attention to the plight of children around the globe. It’s an important message for the innocents who every day suffer all over the world and are at the mercy of rogue dictators and corrupt governments.
And it is a stirring and heartfelt piece, able to softly sweep through low lulls with delicacy and dexterity as easily as it scales the heights of rousing crescendoes and sky-searing sonics.
Mother’s Lament is particularly moving, the stirring and soaring strings joined by evocative and exquisite vocals, a real blend of eastern voices and western classical composition, occident meeting orient to glorious effect and every bit as heart-achingly beautiful as its companion piece Father’s Lament.
And for all the heartache of movements such as Desolation and Lost Innocence, the Epilogue seems to usher in hope, an optimism found in the energy and euphoric drives and drama of the strings.
The videos which accompany the music are also powerful in their own right, putting into imagery what the music is describing, shattered lives in war-torn towns, images of the innocents, children but also mothers and fathers united in fear and grief struggling to survive in a hell, not of their own making.
Peter Xifaras is the perfect artist to put together such a piece, a contemporary sound built on timeless traditions, himself an artist able to move between worlds, as at home writing such classical scores as he is laying down blues guitar solos.
The result is a piece of conceptual music that is as timely as it is tender, as graceful as it is moving, and as beautiful as it is heart-aching. The only criticism is not of the music but of the world where such music is required. That we need such music with such a harrowing message in the first place is the real tragedy here.