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Fri, 17 Sept


Cambridge Jungian Circle ZOOM Event

"RED" BOOK SYMPHONY: Susannah Self

RED: A musical response to The Red Book. One of my lock down projects has been to compose RED, my 5th symphony inspired by The Red Book in concert with painting a series of 4 large canvases. Like the composer Schoenberg, I thrive on this syncretic interface.

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"RED" BOOK SYMPHONY: Susannah Self
"RED" BOOK SYMPHONY: Susannah Self

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17 Sept 2021, 19:30 – 21:15

Cambridge Jungian Circle ZOOM Event


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Composer Susie Self studied at the Royal College of Music and Cambridge University. She won scholarships from the Royal Society of Arts, The Banff Centre, Canada, and most recently a STEAM scholarship from Birmingham City University to read for a PhD in composition, from where she has now graduated. In 2016 she conducted her opera The Butt based on Will Self’s novel at the Musiktheatertage Festival in Vienna. The British Ambassador invited her and Will to a Q & A.

Susannah conducts The Staithe Singers and the Universal Choir, Norfolk. Past opera productions she has conducted include: The Turn of The Screw, Albert Herring, Suor Angelica, Cosí fan tutte, Carmen, Gianni Schicchi and The Magic Flute. Her conducting teacher is David Parry.

The facsimile of Jung’s cosmos lies ceremoniously open in my studio so that visitors may synchronistically open

a new page. Jung's Universal work presents such densely layered metaphors that his only logical option is at

times to explode into powerful abstract images. Similarly, the mysticism of music provides a non-verbal way to

contextualise the work’s momentous architecture. I have only scratched the surface but I am struck by a core

theme: To thrive psychically we need to engage with the history of the dead. James Hillman and Sonu

Shamdasani discuss this in Lament for the Dead. The Red Book is a wake-up call to change the World rather

than solely our inner lives. Its release just over a decade ago, aptly resonates with the current pandemic and

environmental crisis.

RED explores a segment of the Liber Secundus through the imagery of an egg with subjects such as: Flood,

The Desert, Descent into Hell in The Future, Murder of The Hero, Mysterium Encounter, The Red One, The

Castle in The Forest, Death and The Opening of The Egg. Compositionally I employ the ‘slice of the cake’

methodology that I used to create my opera The Butt (2016) based on a the multi layered novel by Will Self.

RED is a notated for a Beethoven sized orchestra infused with mysterious installations of abstract sound. In the

plenary I will share my musical responses to The Red Book and the premi re of extracts of RED.



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