In search of the music of the spheres — artistic practices of Pavlo Tychyna and Mikalojus Konstantinas Čurlionis
The music of the spheres, derived from one of the oldest concepts of a single, cohesive nature of the world, has had a long history dating back to the Pythagoreans’ writings, and alongside other representations of music as a fundamental principle of the existence and functioning of the world and humans, forms a separate set of ideas that a German musicologist, Walter Wiora, referred to as transmusical. The “cosmic” dimension of musical representations is irreversibly connected with the idea of the musical essence of human soul that baffles all rational interpretations. Such approaches to music correspond thus to the two ways of viewing human beings — looking up towards the stars or inside themselves towards the depth of their souls — which reflect the musical ideas of culture circulating in Europe. Both tendencies were reconciled, to some extent, in the philosophical and artistic practices of the early 20th century, when the representation of the musical became the foundation for a new language of art, especially in poetry and painting. This is perfectly illustrated by works of the Ukrainian poet Pavlo Tychyna and the Lithuanian painter and composer Mikalojus Konstantinas Čurlionis.