Growing Toward the Light
Film Music for Symphony Orchestra
Recorded in Kiev by the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine
Review by Oleg Garaz

The beginning of the video is similar to a symphonic work in a philharmonic concert, with the image of the conductor signaling the entry of the orchestra. The only difference is in the continuation which is not purely auditive, as much as it is visual, and the conductor turns out conducting not the music, namely the sonorities, as much as the images in their quality of music contents. The relationship, however, is a biunivocal, as even the "philharmonic" beginning of the video is an imagistic one.

A generative center of the entire narrative succession is the Main Theme or, better still, the way its appearance in the first section of the visual-musical form of the whole, namely the Exposition, is organized. The composer's ingenuity consists of placing before the Main Theme a motivic introductory formula, which is structured in two sonorous configurations in the logic of the "question"-"answer" relation. It is actually about two aspects, of the same motive, conversely symmetrical, one with an ascending movement in low register (the idea of ascendance) and the other, obviously, with a descending movement in high register (the idea of descent), prefiguring the image of the Earth and the Sky, respectively, both images convergently oriented, a relation from which the Main Theme flows organically as a unifying symbol of the two elementary images into a harmonious whole. This load of the two motives is confirmed by the consistency of the visual range, structured from images of terrestrial and celestial spheres, respectively. Thus, the composer structures two "energetic" centers, placing them at the extreme limits of the form – the Exposition – the Reprise –, balancing the entire form, and the Coda (the choir of human voices articulating the name of the company – I.N.I. Steel) combines both directions in synchrony– ascending and descending as a symbol of assimilation and assumption of both spontaneous energies declared in the motivic "tandem" in the Introduction.

The most powerful impression, a real and well-prepared culmination, is offered, of course, by the reprise, the third section of the audio-visual material in this video. Both ranges – auditive-musical and imagistic-narrative – converge towards this moment precisely, as this is where the authentic synthesis between them both is produced. The emergence of the urban image, geometric and chromatically integral, following the poetics of the natural habitat, is also magnified by the recurrence of the Main Theme – the signal-theme, coagulating the message of the images into a suggestive "verticalness".

It is only from this section, and here one should emphasize the clarity and the efficiency of the musical concept, that one can start a retroversive analysis of the composition of the whole, because it is the Reprise itself that sanctions the content, the identity and the function of the melodic profiles, the load and the expressive function of the form – a tripartite – but, especially in a tight relation of interdetermination with a direction which is univocal, accumulative, of the audio-visual range, whose expressive dominant, undisputable otherwise, decides over the coherence and cohesion of the whole.

On the other hand, the logic of the organization of the musical succession intensifies or maybe even hyper-intensifies, resignifying, at the same time, the contents of the visual succession themselves. One example would be the emergence of the Main Theme – the call-theme, let us call it the "Travel-Theme" – in the beginning of the video – the first section, the Exposition – and at the beginning of the third – the Reprise, but with a notable difference in the meaning both of the music, and of the visual symbols. At first, the "Travel-Theme" (or the impulse) captivates the attention in a spontaneous way, directing it towards the revaluation of the visual succession which presents images of the natural grandeur – mountains, the vastness of the fields, the ocean waves; in other words, the natural sublime. As an element that successfully amplifies this suggestibility, rendering it even more prominent, there is the insertion of the human presence – either as a conqueror, or in a state of admiration, open to the profound and grand meanings of Nature in its pure forms. Far from being easy, another task that the composer had was to connect the melodic-thematic profile to the semantic-expressive "epicenters" of the visual succession – "the folding" of the incision or the melodic unfolding on the image of the hands wide open with the intention to absorb the surrounding beauty, a child launching an airplane model or a mountaineer standing secure and firm on the mountain top he has just conquered.

The second "section" of the video is one obviously "pantheist", dedicated entirely to the natural habitat, which concentrates in itself a double meaning. The first one refers to engaging in a journey-exploration of the space and of the natural beauty visually first of all, a necessary condition in order to be able to understand and thus to reach, at the end of the journey, inside the space of the human megalopolis, an amplified, essentialized and intensified projection of the natural irrationality. The musical succession, however, respects its own logic, achieved by means of the musical programmability by the insertion of a bucolic melodicity, one which is explicit in its innocence, purity and delicateness. Rather than an image of nature itself, it is the image of nature "filtered" through the sensitivity and imagination of the contemporary human being, for whom nature will forever remain an important reference point. It is, rather, the image (both video, as well as audio) of an "imaginary journey", but also one of gathering strength (emotional load) to get to the destination.

In fact, the logic of organizing the visual succession is structured on carrying out a journey starting from the image of the planet, by nature's sublime and purity, which all culminate into the human analogy of the sublime that is the "cosmicizing" power of the man in edifying his own "nature", but one built according to the original, basic model, even if never matched, one that will however remain in a constant topicality. In counter-weight with this "linearity" and univocity of the visual succession, the music is structured, as presented above, in the logic of the triple articulation – "Travel-Theme" (the Exposition) – "Nature-Theme" (the middle part, the Episode) – "Travel-Theme" (the Reprise). Here we can discuss a subtle mutual intensifying of the two successions. In addition, the visual succession in itself contains images that "materialize" the aspects and attributes of the auditive-musical succession – sequences of studio recordings with the symphony orchestra with a conductor at the music desk. A particular problem, a technical one, has also been to connect the image of the violin players, of the adequate movement of the bows, the incision gesture of the conductor etc. Thus, the music of the entire video seems to start with the conductor's gesture – so very technical in its suggestiveness – this time a "symbol" of the musical origin of the visual succession. In other words, the visual succession suggests by its own means, the only ones possible, both the presence and the role of music in the equation of the visual articulation of the clip.
We can talk about this video as a syncretistic artifact in its substance, but one by which a suggestive-imaginative accumulation can be achieved, one of an impressive power and, at the same time, with a semantic-symbolic openness deeply rooted in the most intimate archetypal structures of human sensitivity.

The Musical Autumn in Cluj Festival XXXIX Edition
Concert Review by Nagy-Hintós Diana
The Szabadság newspaper, 21 September 2005

The closing work belonged to Aaron Fazakas' movie soundtrack entitled "Growing Toward The Light". The composition widening the borders of the musical effects was a striking way to end the night due to its extremely impressive and nature suggesting positive vital force.

The Musical Autumn in Cluj Festival XXXIX Edition
Concert Review by Michaela Bocu
The Adevărul de Cluj newspaper, 23 September 2005

"Growing Toward the Light", a resounding universe of a wide opening, as well as solid and stimulating.

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