25-minute composition for flute, cello and piano. Premiere performance. Jennifer Oh-Brown, fl; Kurt Fowler, vc; Jennifer Blyth, pn.
a cosmology in songs for flute, cello and piano (2005)
In high school humanities class, I first heard that Mahler said: “To create a symphony is to create a world.” Ever since, I have wanted my compositions to be complete worlds, new universes with their own logic and laws, peopled with their own consciousnesses.
Creation fables lasts about 20 minutes and has ten sections. Song form (ABABCBB), the form which comprises most contemporary popular songs, comprises most of the sections of this piece. Only the chorale and the chaotic section (“bang”) do not take that form. So this piece is, in a sense, a series of songs.
The songs are not an illustration of either religious or scientific cosmologies, though the work uses parts of both religious belief and scientific theory as models for the development of musical materials. The “fables” part of the title indicates that these cosmological vignettes necessarily involve a translation into music and underscores the folk tradition in which these forms have evolved such that they are musical fables in all senses of the definition: fictitious narrative, a legendary story of supernatural happenings, stories intended to enforce a useful truth, esp. one in which animals speak and act like human beings or, in this case, in which musical notes do.
o. aftermath-“Every new beginning is some other new beginning’s end.”
(piano solo at first, then with flute and cello)
i. bang - chaos as atoms and smaller building blocks form the materials of this small
universe followed by a lengthy tranquil section as the process become less
barbaric and more calmly evolutional. (trio)
ii light from light - light (music of the higher registers) divides into sunlight and
moonlight. (flute and piano)
iii. water from water - a sea of hydrogen and oxygen atoms bond and divide into water
of the surface (the liquid form, seas, lakes rivers) and waters of firmament
(steam, ice; clouds and air) (cello and piano)
iv. chorale: seven first words-the governing physical laws of the world solidify (trio)
v. cloudy air: touchstones beyond reach - the ideal, imaginary, unreal, hoped for,
longed for yet unattainable. (flute solo)
vi. devilfish and the deep black (sulfur) sea - the mortal condition, the profane.
vii. invocation and danse sacrale (human consciousness, in which the sacred ideal
and profane reality co-exist, the capacity to defy or transform the laws of the physical world, a capacity by which absolutes of the law are unraveled...if only according to perception) (flute and cello)
viii. genesis (post apocalypse, the garden for a new world). “Every new beginning is
some other new beginning’s end.”
- Contemporary Classical