This biographical sketch was originally published in Our Life with Mr Gurdjieff: Definitive Edition, London: Penguin Arkana, 1992, 277p.
By his early twenties, Thomas de Hartmann was one of the best-known living composers in all of Russia. This informative biography of de Hartmann by John Mangan, the Dean of Jonathan Edwards College at Yale University, is reprinted from Notes: Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association, by permission of the Music Library Association.
Written by Thomas and Olga de Hartmann, this account of the musical collaboration between Gurdjieff and Thomas de Hartmann was first published as Chapter 25 of Our Life with Mr Gurdjieff: Definitive Edition.
This first page of Holy Affirming, Holy Denying, Holy Reconciling is taken from de Hartmanns music manuscripts. It is also partially reproduced in the Triangle Editions record album and CD notes. Besides showing de Hartmanns elegant music calligraphy, it contains his English handwriting, and connects to expressions used in Beelzebubs Tales.
This anonymous commentary was written for the Gurdjieff International Review by a senior member of the Gurdjieff Society in London. For the author, it became apparent that for music to say what it had to say depended as much on the listening as what was listened to.
The original English version of this essay was first published in Gurdjieff: Essays and Reflections on the Man and His Teaching, New York: Continuum, 1996, pages 301310. Reprinted with kind permission of the author.
This account of the challenges film composer Laurence Rosenthal encountered when selecting and adapting music for Peter Brooks film of Gurdjieffs book was originally circulated as an insert in some of the press packets released with the film in 1978. Updated for this publication, Mr. Rosenthal emphasizes the importance of Russian composer Thomas de Hartmanns music in the film.
“What is coming through the air? What am I receiving? What is this music about? Why does it seem to evoke the poignancy of the life of Man, the forces to which he is subject, the enigma of his destiny?”
“Gurdjieff’s music is part of his whole teaching... To approach the possibility of receiving it may require the development of a new way of listening, one that arises out of the harmonious development of body, mind and feeling.”
Mitchell Rudzinski’s advice and comments to his students regarding playing music for the movements is provided from their journals and notebooks.
Ordahl considers the courage to abandon what is known mechanically in favor of trusting an unknown “something else” to be able to play movements music.
A long time student of the Gurdjieff teaching, Jeffrey Werbock is also a performer of the Azerbaijani art music known as mugham. For many years he studied under the musician Zevulon Avshalomov, engaging in the tradition of student and teacher, disciple and master.
Jeffrey Werbock, a performer of the Azerbaijani music known as mugham, looks into the method of transmitting ancient music from generation to generation. Ancient eastern sacred music embodies a legacy of knowledge which can put us in touch with a current of energy that originated during an epoch when the transmission of wisdom was passed on exclusively in the oral tradition, with no coded symbols to intervene and insulate the listeners from the intent of the masters: transcendence.
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Revision: June 1, 2019