Caspar David Friedrich - Abtei im Eichwald (1810)
Daniel TACKE - Abend
I suppose this all begins when I moved in with Alice Teyssier at 47 Morgan Street in Oberlin, Ohio in 2005. We lived on the second floor of a three-story apartment building. Sometimes, late at night, we would hear strange sonorities emanating through our ceiling. Only late in the year did I figure out that there were two composers living directly above us: Daniel Tacke and Josiah Oberholtzer. In those days, I would rarely say more than hello to either of them in passing (I imagined that between the two of them, they maybe uttered 100 words per year), but they have both become long-standing friends and are two of the young composers whom I most admire.
One Thanksgiving years later at the famous Deyoe domicile in La Jolla, with football silently playing on television and conversations filling the room, Dan seemed to be totally immersed (with a type of concentration one encounters far too rarely in the world) in a barely audible, ethereal, impossibly beautiful piece with occasional strikes of a drum demarcating a mysterious division of time. The piece was called “einfalt. stille” (“simplicity. silence”) by Klaus Lang, whom I had never heard of before. In early 2012, I had the occasion to participate in the US premiere of this very piece, and I had the privilege of getting to know Klaus. At one point, I mentioned that I had recently read Eugen Herrigel’s “Zen in the art of Archery.” Another friend asked if I had read it in German, to which I responded that I hadn’t, because I just didn’t have the patience. Klaus remarked instantaneously upon the irony of my answer.
When I think of Dan, I think of something a friend said to me about a former mentor of his; despite the fact that only five years separated them in terms of physical age, the mentor always seemed to be about a century older than my friend. Dan, who is actually two years younger than me, has always possessed such an ageless presence. Simplicity and silence are the hallmarks of Dan’s work. What I learn from him is the importance of patience – of letting time pass in an atmosphere replete with tension, beauty and significance.
Jonathan Hepfer, 2014
Abend (Evening) – Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926)
The sky puts on the darkening blue coat
held for it by a row of ancient trees;
you watch: and the lands grow distant in your sight,
one journeying to heaven, one that falls;
and leave you, not at home in either one,
not quite so still and dark as the darkened houses,
not calling to eternity with the passion of what becomes
a star each night, and rises;
and leave you (inexpressibly to unravel)
your life, with its immensity and fear,
so that, now bounded, now immeasurable,
it is alternately stone in you and star.