Ikegwuonu Delivers Music Matters Lecture Series Talk on Artful Repetition
by Kristina Garvelink (M.S. ’15)
On Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018, Dr. Desmond Ikegwuonu, assistant professor of music and director of worship arts, presented a lecture entitled "Itughari uche and Holy Minimalism." Coordinated by the Communication, Media & Music Division, the event served to launch Cornerstone University's Music Matters Concert and Lecture Series for the 2018-19 academic year.
Ikegwuonu, an accomplished composer who spent the past summer writing nearly 25 musical works, placed emphasis on the relevance of intentionality in the creative process. As part of his midday talk, he performed an original composition and excerpts from "Für Alina" and "Spiegel im Spiegel" by Arvo Pärt. While conducting a brief analysis of passages from each of the visually straightforward works, he pointed to the composers' reasoned use of repetition, tonality, a stationary voice to complement the melodic voice and isolated sounds as contributing factors to the auditory beauty of each piece.
"Beauty flows out of underlying structural designs, making them both mutually inclusive," Ikegwuonu said. "In the same regard, simplicity—akin to Holy Minimalism—does not mean that unifying details are nonexistent.
"The fact that you're spiritual doesn't mean you should throw away the ability to articulate process within your art form. Whether a harmonic or melodic tension or its resolution, God uses it all for His glory. Music only becomes a narrative in itself."
Referencing the minimalistic approach employed by a diverse list of composers such as Henryk Górecki, Alan Hovhaness, Sofia Gubaidulina and Peteris Vasks, Ikegwuonu invited listeners to become more attentive to details and recognize the value of taking a holistic approach when engaging or creating art.
"Design doesn't happen by chance," Ikegwuonu concluded. "Tell stories through notes and harmonies and lives are transformed."
About the Music Matters Lecture Series
The Music Matters Concert and Lectures Series features monthly presentations on current topics in the music industry. Including events with accomplished artists and music professionals, the lecture series is free and open to the public.