Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Berlin, Teil 4: Petterssons Musik--nicht für Kinder?!

On this entry I'll be talking about the potential dangers of playing Pettersson to children.

While waiting for our concert to start at the Wald-Oberschule, I was wandering through the hallways and saw a bulletin board full of drawings made by students at the school. Above the drawings was a title which roughly translates to "Painting to music--impressions on Pettersson's Symphony No. 1." Being the Pettersson geek that I am, I found it a little surprising that these school kids were listening to the reconstruction of this symphony, just released on BIS a few months before. Needing clarification, I contacted the school music teacher who told me that it was actually the first part of the Symphony No. 8 that they listened to. You can see that some corrections were made to the title.

Looking at these pictures I felt disturbed, among other reactions, but also inspired and moved. I don't know how old these kids are, but if you look carefully at at some of the drawings you will see something which suggests level 7. I also have no idea what kind of music training these kids have, and what kinds of music they are receptive to, but many of these drawings, despite some of them being a little shocking, really capture the essence of Pettersson's music and the many messages it carries.

I hope you "enjoy" these drawings as much as I have, and I would love to hear what your reactions are as well!

Well, there is violence in Pettersson's music.

Above: lovers separating. Below: death by hanging (a suicide?) on a barren, lifeless tree, in a desolate landscape.

One of my favorites. The man at the bottom left says "That is such a long path." The angel says he can do it, the devil says he cannot. At the end of the path is the summit and the sun.

A lonely boat on a stormy sea of tears. Another favorite of mine.

A lot of things you will find in Pettersson's music. Trauer: grief, Spannung: strain, Gefahr: danger, Tod: death. 

Heartbreak. But heartbreak brought on by human hands?


  1. This is wonderful! Children offer such provocative responses! Thanks for sharing these.

  2. Very interesting (as your whole blog, in fact), thank you for sharing this.
    It may seems strange, but the most impressive drawing for me is the one with the poor worker that pulls a truck of rocks, in a high slope, under a deadly high sun. This is a very good representation of (one part of) the philosophal message in Pettersson's music : life is as hard and painful like this for a lot of people.

    (sorry for poor english.)