WIRED* for Carmen.e

for pierrot sextet
(2002, rev. 2008)

For the past few months, I believe that I have been stuck in some kind of awful Hegelian dialectic, because on one hand I have the weight of tradition (the entire corpus of “western music”) to attend to and on the other I have the pressure of being “original” and forward thinking. I would hope it is not pretentious to say that the synthesis of this dialectic would be something like WIRED* for carmen.e, but one cannot be too sure if this is the case. I think WIRED has more in common with Parliament and Perotinus than it does with, lets say, Bach, Brahms or Beethoven.

While I was working on the piece, I was struck by the realization that most of my music is heterophonic in nature, i.e., single-line music with no polyphony (however, polyphony could be (and in many cases is) created by hocketing or delaying the monophony.) In WIRED, the monophonic line creates the back bone of the piece, much like a strand of DNA; this line is woven through the six instruments which sometimes play this line in unison or octaves and in different instrumental combinations creating a chameleon-like hyper-instrument. Unlike the predecessors of WIRED (To Boston for Sex and Fuel), the monophony is not strictly doubled all the time. Here, the monophony is slightly blurred at times, sometimes shifting the correct note to the left or right only slightly to achieve a quasi pre-verb or delay effect and thus create what composer Morton Feldman calls, the “orchestral pedal.” (One could imagine this effect represented visually- this blurring effect is found in painting: such as in the work of artist Francis Bacon and Gerhard Richter.)

— v.c.
20 November 2002 



Flute, Bass Clarinet, Percussion [Vibraphone, Glockenspiel, 8-12 "Tuned" Aluminum Cans, Small Triangle, Drum Set: Kick Drum, 2 Tomtoms, 2 Bongos, Hi-Hat, Suspended Cymbal, Woodblock, Vibraslap, Tambourine, Guïro/Washboard), Piano (also plays Gragger and Metal Music Stand), Violin (also plays Washboard), Violoncello (also plays Washboard)


8 Minutes


23 November 2002
Ensemble: Rocketchrist
Kulas Recital Hall, Oberlin OH