Composer: Applin, Richard
Mixed Metaphors for bassoon and piano
by Richard Applin
I. Boundary Conditions
II. ex nihilo
III. Heat Death
Performed at the 2009 IDRS Conference in Birmingham, England.
From the composer:
Music has always seemed, to me, to be more suggestive of a dream state than anything like daily awareness. In the same way that dream logic allows us to be in two incongruous places, or to speak without alarm to those we know to have died, or to observe ourselves in some action as if from outside, so musical form permits, and even requires, a free interplay of logic and irrelevancy.
In spite of section designations, this piece is really in something like five parts. The internal divisions are overwritten by motivic and harmonic continuities and the indicated movements are superimposed. The function of waking words, such as these, is to correlate and organize. Our dreaming brains are indifferent to the grammatical rules of experience. A given musical form may be mapped onto our current creation myth called Big Bang cosmology, or the arc of a human life, or the passage of a day or of a moment. The music itself is unperturbed by the metaphors by which we apprehend it.
If pressed as to whether I am writing "philosophical music" I answer with a question that I head a guy on TV ask in a news interview:
"If you let the camel's nose into the tent, are you lighting a fire you can't put out?"
My unalloyed gratitude goes to the Laurendale Duo for requesting this piece and for arranging my participation in the 2009 IDRS Conference.
Dedicated to the living memory of John Daverio.