Music for Discerning and Curious Minds

Project Decaying

~ Expression of Beauty in What is Decaying ~

#0: Prologue

When I was putting my ideas together for a program on the theme of finding beauty in what is decaying, this tulip happened to be in my house. The synchronicity convinced me that this program was the one I should pursue. The process eventually led to creating “Decaying,” a prerecorded program for piano and violin, which I will premiere in January 2022. In this program, listeners will be invited to experience the theme of finding beauty in what is decaying from three different angles: scenery, thoughts, and physical existence. Prior to sharing this prerecorded program, I wanted to create a space to think about this theme without seeking any particular answers or conclusions.

At a glance, this tulip made me think of the mask of Yase Onna (emaciated woman) used in Japanese Noh theater. This mask represents the spirit of a woman unable to rest in peace because of her strong attachment to love, lust, and desire. It is interesting and almost ironic that such a mask had to exist in the society where intense personal feelings were never to be shared publicly. Or it may be more accurate to say such a mask had to exist so that hidden intense feelings had a place to go in order to be digested and purified.

As I gazed at the tulip, I began to realize this dying flower and the mask were actually at the opposite ends of the spectrum. While Yase Onna (emaciated woman) communicates her intensity and inability to accept her own fate and let go of the attachment, the flower seemed totally at peace with her own state. Strangely I see beauty in both ends of the spectrum, and I find this complexity fascinating. What I sensed from the dying flower was contrasting qualities: determination and vulnerability. Or shall I describe it as “quiet determination to be vulnerable”? It is somewhat unsettling because those words do not mix well together, but I also find this complexity fascinating.

Is it too much mulling over nothing? Perhaps. But knowing that I have such a space to let my thoughts float keeps me grounded.

Have you ever found beauty in what is decaying? What does “beauty in what is decaying” mean to you? Please share your artwork (poetry, photography, painting, drawing, sculpture, musical composition, pottery, flower arrangement, etc.) and above all, your thoughts. What happens when you allow your thoughts to float? I am looking forward to hearing from you.


“All in all, the creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act.”

Marcel Duchamp, artist

Prior to the premiere of my prerecorded program for piano and violin Decaying in January 2022, I am launching an initiative to create a space for contemplation of the theme of the program: finding beauty in what is decaying.

Please consider sharing your artwork that expresses beauty in what is decaying. Any art forms are welcome. When you are ready, send your artwork to rie@riemoore.com. I will share select artworks for the community to appreciate on this website, Facebook and Instagram.


Decaying

~ Prerecorded Program for Piano and Violin ~

Coming in January 2022
This project is supported in part by the Maryland State Arts Council.

Beyond Darkness

~ Prerecorded Program for Solo Piano ~

2:00 pm on Saturday, March 20, 2021
Works by Arvo Pärt, Lowell Liebermann, Erik Satie, Alexander Scriabin, Luciano Berio, Claude Debussy, Louis Vierne, Ludwig van Beethoven, and J.S. Bach to imagine what is beyond darkness

View program

This project is sponsored by St. Mary’s County Arts Council.

A Glimpse of Performances

Listen to other performances