8 musicians

Premiere: March 3, 2004, MusiMars 2004: Concert 2, Salle Pollack — Pavillon Strathcona — Université McGill, Montréal (Québec)

1. contact, baby; 3. on outset; 5.isn’t it gran(d) et 7. post hoc.

In iNTERtECTURE, Rogers explores various types of intertextuality and influence by almost continuously employing references to pre-existing music. Some references take the form of direct quotation, while others are less transparent. “The work, writes Rogers, is inspired by the remarkable discovery of a mysterious prehistoric document:

In the autumn of 2001, an ancient manuscript was unearthed during an excavation at the Romano-British Villa at Woodchester. The manuscript had been encased between two flat stone slabs and stored in the moist soil beneath the villa’s central hall. The floor of this hall was a grand mosaic depicting the Greek hero Orpheus. It was during the restoration process of this mosaic that the ancient manuscript was found.

The manuscript is thought by many (out of the few who have seen it) to be an example of a hitherto unheard-of music notation. If authenticated, this would be the oldest musical manuscript ever discovered. Carbon dating performed in 2002 dates the manuscript to c.1780 BC.

A copy of the manuscript was sent to me during my time at the Robertson-Helm Institute of Art and Architecture in Simcoe, Ontario. I was asked by the archaeological team who had discovered the manuscript to translate the ancient notation into our current form of music notation, and iNTERtECTURE is the result. The instrumentation and titling were mine to decide; the design is meant to facilitate an understanding of the essence of this ancient music.

Stephen Rogers


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