© 2017 AARON HELGESON, all rights reserved
photos by Aleksandr Karjaka
ECHOES OF ALWAYS (2018)
FL, HRP, HPSD, 2 VLN, 2 VLA, VCL, CB
9 MIN.
-
00:00 / 00:00
(excerpt, full recording available on Soundcloud)
COMMISSIONED BY: UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
PREMIERE: DAL NIENTE, 2018-04-22 (CHICAGO, IL)

Echoes of always is an overture made from transcriptions of other overtures.

 

Drawing from the instrumentation of Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B Minor (with harp added as part of the continuo group), the work collages together directly-transcribed musical fragments from sources that share various sonic and historical resonance...

...my own transcriptions of musical phrases from contemporary realizations of Jean Baptiste Lully’s overture to Acis et Galatée, an opera by the 17th-century creator of the French "ouverture" genre (whose form and ornamental style are mimicked in the opening movement of the Bach) that depicts a mythical figure often portrayed playing a flute in paintings and sculptures of the period...

...diatonic pitch clouds from the opening sections of my anti-cantata Snow Requiem and string quartet Brief regards for sometimes, themselves based on transcriptions of 19th-century Norwegian folk song and early wax cylinder recordings of fiddle tunes...

...transcriptions of the overture to Les Eléméns, a 1721 opera whose music was written jointly by André Cardinal Destouches and Michel Richard Delalande whose individual contributions to the work remain ambiguous...

...gestural patterns from François Couperin’s unmeasured preludes found in L’art de toucher le clavecin, his 1716 introduction to harpsichord playing and ornamentation of the Baroque period...

...and of course transcriptions of Bach’s B-minor suite itself.

In hindsight, the result is somewhat like the paintings of Alison van Pelt, whose blurry photorealist representations of human figures are depicted by a massive sequence of horizontal or vertical lines, each one an abstract shaded monochrome that seems as if it was made with one single stroke.

Echoes of always flips van Pelt’s approach on its head. Instead of an abstract stack of shaded lines coming together to form a recognizable whole, individual musical phrases are made of already-meaningful and referential musical slices which are isolated and assembled into a larger form...on the one hand wholly unrecognizable and on the other uncannily baroque.

(click to preview complete score)