Arvo Pärt (b. 1935) is an Estonian classical composer who is most famous for his etherial, minimalist style, and the invention of the composition method known as tintinnabuli, which is meant to emulate bells and was inspired by ancient chant music. His career spans many decades, and his most prominent works include Spiegel Im Spiegel, Fratres, and Tabula Rasa, which are routinely performed around the world.
“In art anything is possible. But everything that is made is not neccessary.”
Although his music is profoundly sacred in nature, its transcendental, spiritual quality is well enjoyed by a person of any faith and, indeed, no faith at all. He believes strongly that music should give space to the listener, and is quoted as saying, ”I could compare my music to white light which contains all colours. Only a prism can divide the colours and make them appear; this prism could be the spirit of the listener.”
This week’s quote was selected from an interview with Pärt on a TV series called “Modern Minimalist.” The show was narrated by, of all people, Iceland’s famous female pop singer Björk, who happens to love Pärt’s music and cites him as one of her influences.
You can watch the full interview below.