Friday, January 21, 2011

Felipe Lara on Livro dos Sonhos

I asked Felipe Lara to write a little bit on his work which will be performed tomorrow night on c)i's "Discourse: to hear and be heard" concert:

"I am really excited to hear my old piece (2004) Livro dos Sonhos (Book of Dreams) for clarinet and piano. I haven’t heard it live since the performances that took place that year, by duos formed by Jean Kopperud and Steve Gosling, as well as Michael Norsworthy and John McDonald.
I’m thrilled to be able to hear a performance of the work by two world-class musicians such as Ben Fingland and Steve Beck.

The idea behind my piece fits quite well with the title of the concert, "Discourse: to hear and be heard”, as it is about the negotiation of flow between two entities, in this case the clarinet and the piano. Both instruments are constantly interrupting, joining, amplifying, agreeing, disagreeing, and ultimately questioning the music presented by one another. This happens in the pitches, rhythms, timbres, and gestures. This very negotiation is at the core of the poetics of the work.

Both musicians start and end in perfect agreement (unison), but the journey through the piece becomes a game of differences and their negotiations. The piece gravitates strongly around Eb4 (middle of the piano) and in several instances unison on this pitch help punctuate and trigger each subsequent musical phrase. On the last section of the piece the musicians finally try to settle and play a Messiaen-inspired cantilena. This section of musical agreement doesn’t last very long, as the piano gradually perforates it with its somewhat violent and incisive attacks. This is perhaps a portrait of myself at the time trying to negotiate and subtly liberate myself from the enormous influence Olivier Messiaen had on me as young composer.

The title reflects on the seemingly disjunct, capricious, and perhaps unpredictable character of the events caused by these musical discussions. As on dreams, this piece attempts to create a vivid, but rapidly changing and non-linear sensory experience.

I’m honored, thankful, and extremely excited to take part on this concert presented by this great ensemble that is counter)induction."