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Arvo Pärt

Orient Occident

(1999, ECM Records) Estonia

Cover de Arvo Pärt - Orient Occident

“Times and Winds”, a Turkish movie released in 2008, really impressed me when I lived in Lille. This movie was shot in amazing landscapes, and has a slow and sad rhythm. I distinctly remember the sequence when the son tries to kill his father, who has the flu, by emptying his father’s medicine into the sink. Afterward I realized that the strange ambiance of this scene can be attributed to the music by Arvo Pärt, who is an Estonian composer. The soundtrack to “Times and Winds” consists of tracks from “Te Deum” and “Orient Occident”, the first two albums of Arvo Pärt’s that I bought. It’s pretty hard to describe this music, but it’s slow, powerful and intense.
Then I discovered his other albums, like “Fratres”, which has a very technical cello intro, “In Principio” and “Alina”. The power of Pärt’s music comes from Tintinabula : pure sounds resonating.
I then learned more about him on the internet and from a documentary in which Thom Yorke and Bjork are interviewed… this helped me to understand Arvo Pärt’s concept and who he is.
I choose two songs : Orient & Occident, which is a string (and brass ?) song, incredibly well recorded. What a powerful bass sound from the strings and high fidelity for the violins tremolo. This song consists of one repeated theme throughout which he plays on the harmonies. I also love the fourth movement of Como Cierva Sedienta – IV which features a very high pitched, sad and powerful female choir.
Arvo Pärt’s oeuvre was a major discovery for me in music.




1. Orient & Occident
2. Como cierva sedienta – IV


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