Commissioned by Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor : Peter Eotvos,
Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra.
Truth be told, I was inspired to write this music not that long ago. Just like any other day, I casually turned on the radio while reading a book - and what flowed from the radio was a song laid dormant in my childhood memories up until that moment: Led Zeppelin's Dazed and Confused, the gem of a masterpiece made during the period of transition for early forms of hard rock influenced by blues. At that instant I thought I wanted to compose something novel out of the music long since forgotten by me - and perhaps even in history. I took out the records of early hard rock music such as Led Zeppelin, Jeff Beck and Jimi Hendrix that I used to listen to in my younger days; the memories of my juvenile heroes, which till then remained asleep like a corpse in grave, were soon revived.
After listening meticulously for months, I concluded that early hard rock, or white blues, is so naturally a music by electric guitars, for electric guitars after all. When the electric guitar first came out, British guitarists experimented with sound through the newly discovered instrument, and influenced by blues, which is essentially acoustic guitar music, created hard rock.
I started toying with the idea of turning the orchestra into one huge electric guitar that would trace back the acoustic experiments of the bygone times. Moreover, I contemplated that I could reach an entirely new conclusion by thoroughly dismantling the characteristics of hard rock music - thereby removing the original format - and combining the broken elements in a completely different way, just as Borges created his short stories by putting the broken lores together, rendering them wholly his own. The Pizzcato of the strings imitate the stuffy sound of an unamped electric guitar, while percussions, brasses and the woodwinds portray the white noise. The music thus begins. The microscopic elements that compose hard rock, namely the Leaf, blues code, scales and rhythmical features are interspersed throughout the music. At the final moment, the orchestra becomes the sound of distortion in its entirety and performs one colossal acoustic guitar solo.
I hope that this music exists as a footnote - not merely as an imitation of hard rock or white blues, but as fragmented parodies that would depict their history: in other words, as a footnote in the form of inter-textuality. All music shall exist in such a way: just as the music of Wagner annotates that of Debussy, and on the other hand that of Lachenmann - and as the music of Led Zeppelin and Jeff Beck annotates that of BB King or Willie Dixon.
- Contemporary Classical