Seven Sketches to the Tree of Life

Keywords: the symbolism of number seven, the Kabbalah, the Tree of Life, “Seven Sketches for Piano” by Elena Gokhman, “Foucault’s Pendulum” by Umberto Eco.


In many ancient cultures the number seven
was distinguished with a special type
of symbolism. There is also an aureole
of mystique surrounding the cycle “Seven
Sketches for Piano” by Saratov-based composer
Elena Gokhman. In order to line up one
of the possible conceptions of the composition
the author turned her attention to the universal
Kabbalistic model of the human being –
the Tree of Life. The seven components
of the Tree – the sephiroths – reflect the seven
psychological characteristic features
of the human being which it is necessary
to develop and perfect, harmonizing them
with both each other and with the outer world.
The analogies between the Tree of Life and
the pieces comprising the piano cycle line
up the psychological portrait of our
contemporary: permeated with contradictions,
aspiring towards harmony and conveying
clemency to the world.

Contemporary Composer