Martin Heidegger explains, in my own limited and admittedly faulty understanding, the term phusis (or physis) as a central concept within the ancient Greek world view. This term was later translated by the Romans into natura, and thence it came to us as “nature”. However, according to Heidegger, the first interpretation of this word imposes a distortion on the original tractates in ancient Greek which made use of their own term. Phusis is not a fixed entity or grouping of entities, but rather a process of un-concealment. Instead of using the loaded words that refer to ‘being’ in verb and noun, there is a description of ever-denuding, along with an impetus or a counterpart of covering. In between this constant un-concealment and concealment there is another space created, or one that more properly always is. One can say, thus, that nothing changes, but everything is a process of showing itself, while never wholly achieving it; in short, an infinite dynamic of light and darkness and that which is both, or none.
The present musical work may be apprehended as an ethereal representation of a similar concept, though the writer makes no justification of that through a direct, one-to-one reference to structure. Rather, there is in the texture, the main line as transformation and ebbing across the rest of the instrumentation, especially in the ‘Widgael Concerto’, that can give the listener a sensual apprehension of the idea of phusis. The following ‘Hroan Of The Ceri Forest’, also in three parts, provides a curious sense of immanence, perhaps through the frequent use of an effect of suspense in the strings, a sense of stasis streaked with hints and whispers of burgeoning life (and which minutes into the second movement remind one of similar textural by Rick Wakeman in the more airy parts of ‘Close to the Edge’). This is a music that is at once familiar and distant, friendly but uncaring, aloof; at once embracing yet out of reach. Finding oneself at its mercy, encircled by a whole that is every part, and which raises oneself above oneself, in a unique generous, gesture of triumph within one’s grasp.
The Chamber Music of Richard Moult, moreover, exudes an intensely English aroma, though supple in its admixture of a chilly distance and an autumnal decay, suffused over forms and lives, sharp peaks and dark crevices always beyond, never here. An adroit elegance marks this work, remaining substantial while ungraspable, perhaps the result of an adept handling of musical elements outside the confines of scholarly rigidity, though not rejecting the repertoire of experience guarded by centuries of obsessive love. In it, the simple attains an exquisite richness of details, and that which is grand beyond dimensions becomes apprehensible.