On the surface, a response to an invitation. At another level, a deep response to the life we share, and to my last two years. As the sociologist C Wright Mills argued, personal troubles and public issues are very connected, even if they are quite different.
In Beethoven's Heiligenstadt Testament, written in the depths of coming to terms with his increasing deafness, he says 'I was compelled early to isolate myself, to live in loneliness, when I at times tried to forget all this'. While what we go through now with Covid may be a shared experience, it shouldn't be forgotten that it is deeply personal too, and that other life events are still going on.
So this is built on Beethoven's third symphony 'Eroica', which was composed around that time. Of the movements, the second seemed the most useful when listening to it, and being the Marcia funebre: adagio assai, it proved more significant than I realised.
The video has been reworked, and I'll quote Tom Stoppard to justify that: 'There is a degree of trial and error. The art is to control the flow of information between stage and audience. It can be too fast, too slow, too oblique, too blunt, in the wrong order, or simply lacking. The correction is not always authorial. A good production is in a permanent state of self-correction, one hopes.'
Includes sections of three performances by SaveMe Oh. The 'fire dragon' is my own avatar in a Second Life interpretation of 'hell'.
Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 in E Flat Major Eroica, Op. 55. Czech National Symphony Orchestra: musopen.org/music/2565-symphony-no-3-in-e-flat-major-eroica-op-55/#recordings. Public domain.
Image of Heiligenstadt Testament by Ludwig van Beethoven - ND VI 4281, commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=172769. Public Domain.
Locations in Second Life:
Eternal Conflict - maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Helcaraxe%20Isle/134/129/28.
Cornhub - maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/NORTH%20KOREA/128/128/29.
And I leave with Beethoven's words from the Testament:
"Farewell and love each other".