Red Block is a 2010 artwork by El Anatsui. This piece is made up of thousands of small scraps of discarded aluminum. Each scrap is sewn together with copper wire to create a tapestry. His materials are sourced from recycling centers in order to transform simple materials instead of letting them be discarded.

Red Block 2010 artwork by El Anatsui

Messiaen’s commentary for Quartet for the End of Time, VI. Danse de la fureur, pour les sept trompettes (Dance of fury, for the seven trumpets)

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“Rhythmically, the most characteristic piece of the series. The four instruments in unison imitate gongs and trumpets (the first six trumpets of the Apocalypse followed by various disasters, the trumpet of the seventh angel announcing the consummation of the mystery of God). Use of added values, augmented or diminished rhythms, of non-retrogradable rhythms. Music of stone, formidable granite sound; irresistible movement of steel, huge blocks of purple rage, icy drunkenness. Listen especially to all the terrible fortissimo of the augmentation of the theme and changes of register of its different notes, towards the end of the piece.”

Both Red Block and the Danse de fureur are either made of metal or built to give the impression of metal. Both works stress draw on elements going through transformations. As recycled material or as jagged rhythms that are expanded or contracted in length, intense dynamism springs forth.

Though the forms of creation we perceive often change at a bewildering rate, the God who created them does not change. In our chaotic world, anchoring ourselves to the peace of a loving, reliable God is a necessity.

However, the dynamism of change is not necessarily something that we need to experience as working against God’s will. Everything falls under His gaze and bends to His will, even if it might not make sense to us.

Lord - the chaos of this world overwhelms us. But Your peace is always accessible to us, even when we don’t know how to understand life. Help us to trust Your peace even when our surroundings are difficult to manage.

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