So Too, Fell Daedalus - 2BSN
Composer: Austin, Kevin Timothy
Publisher: Imagine Music
So Too, Fell Daedalus
for two bassoons
by Kevin Timothy Austin - American composer
As can be inferred from the title, So Too, Fell Daedalus, I seek to evoke in this piece the story of Icarus and Daedalus from Greek mythology with the added inference that Daedalus saw his own demise out of grief for his son. The piece is then a reinterpretation of the well-established tradition of tone poetry. However, I chose to extract this practice from its original orchestral setting and instead employ two bassoons to embody the characters in the story. I digress from the traditional use of theme and motive, and instead use realism to an all-encompassing degree. The two bassoons soar, swoop, dive, flit and flutter, in moments of parallel motion and varied repetition, as if they were themselves riding on wings of feathers and wax. They begin from the depths of the labyrinth, out of which they climb to the heights of their hubris, and once again recede to their point of origin.
Formally then, the piece is through composed and at times improvisatory, but the focus should be on the overarching contour, which follows the aforementioned pattern. With regard to pitch, I use a mode of non-western origin not to imply tonal function or centricity – any perceived instance of such is not intentional – but to arouse in the listener the same sense of intrigue felt by the protagonists, which brought them closest to the sun and that sent them ultimately to their end.
This piece was written for the DT "Double Trouble" Duo. It was premiered on August 7th, 2014 at the International Double Reed Society Conference, held at New York University, New York City, NY.