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The Pathos of Broken Things for Solo Flute (2017)

Click the second image to listen to an excerpt from The Pathos of Broken Things.


Title: The Pathos of Broken Things

Year: 2017

Instrumentation: Solo Flute

Duration: 7' 00"


Written for and dedicated to Katherine Bryan.


Based on the Japanese tradition of repairing broken pottery with gold-dusted lacquer, The Pathos of Broken Things refers to a Japanese philosophy that is built upon this same reparatory art. As a philosophy, Kintsugi puts across the idea that a broken object ought to be valued for its damage, and that the visible cracks that remain after the treatment (in other words, the scar) should be thought of as part of the object’s history, rather than being perceived as a flaw or something to hide. This philosophy is also closely related to the Japanese phrase ‘mono no aware’, which literally translates as ‘the pathos of things’, and is a phrase that suggests ‘an awareness of impermanence’ and existential instability that is accompanied by a deep sense of sadness at the realisation of the temporariness of life. Therefore, this piece is an honest reflection on damage, failure and scars with the intention of highlighting and embracing the necessity of life’s negatives when attempting to forge a positive existential outcome.

The Pathos of Broken Things for Solo Flute (2017)

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