"Land of Lotus" - an original solo piano suite in three movements.
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"Land of Lotus" is the result of ongoing reflection on a personal trip to Argentina in the Fall of 2009, where the seed for this composition was born. A well-timed trip during a break from school to visit relatives down (very) south of the border developed into a four-month stay in northern Argentina - one that would open up new vistas of experience and perspective in my life that reverberate to this day, seven years later.
Experiencing the bounty of untouched nature at the foothills of the Andes...new language and cultural customs...indigenous peoples and their perspectives...presented a stark contrast to our own hyper-modern, sped up, and often disjointed lifestyle we maintain in the 'developed world' of the West. From what I could tell, the pace of life in this place a world away emphasized leisure, pleasure, and simply the joy of living; not quite our 'values' of speed, efficiency, consumption, and 'working to live.' I began to liken it to the "Land of the Lotus-eaters" from the Odyssey of Greek mythology, where the inhabitants of an idyllic island spend their days eating from the Lotus flower, a narcotic of sorts that effected a perpetual state of sleepy, carefree apathy. So powerful was the lotus-grip that only the will-driven Odysseus could wrest his men from the trance, and reawaken any desire to return home.
While admittedly an exaggeration, this "lotus-like" lifestyle in Argentina had both its merits and its flaws; emphasizing ease and enjoyment of sensory pleasures, yet often lacking the concentrated, will-driven forces of the West that give us our unique creativity, innovation, and ingenuity, too. Such is the paradox of life...
Perhaps a deeper lesson here is that we strive for balance - knowing how to cultivate a private, inner "land of lotus" perhaps, without neglecting our outer duties or running from the journey we are on, with its assorted trials and tribulations - a place we can always retreat back to...kick up our feet...letting out a long sigh or a laugh....to remind ourselves that the enjoyment of life is a worthy enough goal unto itself.
This composition is dedicated to exploration, opening up new views and vistas, and my Uncle Johnny.
released November 1, 2016
(home) recorded and mixed by Julian Hartwell.
Mastered by LANDR audio mastering.
Composed by Julian Hartwell (ASCAP), all rights reserved.
Copyright Julian Hartwell Music 2016.