Singing, Playing and Prayer: Gregorian Chant in Vladimir Martynov’s Composition

Margarite Katunyan
Singing, Playing and Prayer: Gregorian Chant in Vladimir Martynov’s Compositions

The article depicts the experience of a contemporary composer who turns to Medieval melodic material, as well as his motivation and his methods of refinement. The author introduces such new conceptions as new commentary mentality, and new chant composition; with the help of which he analyzes the state of modern culture, the outlets to traditions, the mechanisms of interaction between tradition and contemporary compositional approaches to it by means of the opposition of one’s ownsomeone else’s.

The author draws an analogy between the old conception of canon and the modern chant mentality, and finds both general and specific features, which characterize the modern cultural paradigm: conceptualism, new syncretism, intertextuality, the newly applicable old principle of bricolage (Lévi-Strauss). The focal section of the article presents the interview with Martynov which reveals the main positions of the composer’s creative methodology within the frames of his project of New sacred space. The article illustrates the analysis of operational technology with the Gregorian chant on the basis of the avant-garde and the post-avantgarde experience of structuring sound material.

Vladimir Martynov’s compositions, Canticum fratris solis octo tonorum (set to the text by St. Francis of Assisi), The Games of Angels and Humans and Litany to Our Lady are examined for this purpose.