It is incredible how such understated playing can paint such vivid pictures. How, armed only with a title for guidance as to the theme and nature of the piece, the listener can conjure up their own scenes and scenarios to fit the narrative that the music suggests. But that is the power of a talented musician at work. That is the power of Little Meister’s.
Marius Le Fou, the man behind the music, follows the beautiful Poem About A True Butterfly, a piece conjured the grace and dexterity of the creature before the listener’s eyes through the medium of sound, with a Grace and Defiance (In Times of War) which seems to channel more powerful and poignant themes.
Its often sparing and spacious cascades of notes build a melancholy grandeur, an august austerity, perhaps a reflection of the East Berlin that he would have grown up with as the city of his birth began to look westwards once more. But whatever the influence, it is hard not to listen to the music and not see the sombre landscape that his playing creates.
And just those two words, Grace and Defiance, are enough to enable you to write the story for which this is the soundtrack. Images of resistance to enemy occupation, perhaps. Or of the resolution of a civilian population under pressure during times of war. The grim determination that such a tragedy as war brings and the sadness that lies at the heart of those caught up in such times. But also the resilience to get through it with dignity whenever at all possible.
And the most incredible thing of all. The piece is purely improvised. No forward planning, no sheet music, no prior working out of ideas. Just an artist pursuing feelings and thoughts, emotions and expression through the medium of sound. A blank music sheet is being filled in in real-time.
Before the piece has ended, you have seen years roll by and so many tragic events play out, and you see it all through the soundtrack being presented here. Such is the power of music when in the right pair of hands. Little Meister’s is exactly the right pair of hands.