Dark Matter - SOLO BSN
Composer: Mellits, Marc
Publisher: Dacia Music (Mark Mellits)
for solo bassoon (amplified)
by Marc Mellits (b. 1966) - American composer
“Dark Matter” is the first piece I composed fully, from beginning to end, after battling a long recovery from being diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease (VKH). Of all the bizarre symptoms that I experienced, the most other worldly was blindness; I lost nearly all my eyesight in my right eye, and 50% in my left. This meant I could sense some light through my left eye, and was therefore not in complete darkness, thankfully, but it did put me into another world. There was never a moment when I did not trust my doctors in being able to repair the damage and halt the disease, however, this came at a cost. The drug therapy was equally as damaging, if not worse, than the disease itself. For ten months straight, I was not able to write music, not able to sleep, and I lost a bit of myself during this time. However, once the disease was finally pushed back, I began finishing “Titan,” a work I had started before the symptoms appeared. Much to my surprise, the music was filled with joy. The next piece I started was “Dark Matter,” which was the first work of mine to have material that was entirely post recovery. In a way, the electric guitar pedals and the processing are the disease, and the musical instrument is me and my eyesight. I wanted to take this experience of struggle and recovery and channel it into music. The path of recovery for me was continuously getting healthier overall, but there were a few setbacks when the disease fought back, which are depicted in the music itself. It was a battle -- a silent, blind, and dark scream -- a struggle. The timing of being asked to incorporate electric guitar effects pedals seemed too perfect of an opportunity to channel the energy of my disease into music, so I jumped at it. I cannot thank all the musicians involved in the consortium for “Dark Matter” enough, who were willing to go along with a piece written with electronics in mind; and to my friend Jacob Goforth for putting the consortium together and for having the bold idea of using effects pedals.