saxophone quartet (two alto saxophones, and two baritone saxophones)
Remembered music is different from experienced music: sometimes several passages become one single collage in memory, sometimes only a general “sound” is remembered, without any details. Skelter is a composed remembering of the song Helter Skelter from the famous “white album” of the Beatles. It is not an attempt to recreate the song—the chosen ensemble already forbids this. It is rather as if certain single elements of the song, like some notes of a guitar solo, gain their own, independent life, already transformed through my, sometimes deliberately false, memory of the song. These elements are much more important than, for example, the melody of Helter Skelter. In the original there is a very hidden use of the saxophone, like sounding out of another world. In Skelter this imaginary saxophone becomes the main instrument, quadrupled as a quartet. The complex multiphonics used in my piece hint to another, altogether different world again. In the original song there is also a famous fade-out, and then a fade-in that brings back the music after an unusually long pause. In Skelter only the notes themselves disappear, but the rhythm of the music continues in the mechanical noises of the saxophone keys. If my piece wants to show something it is the impossibility of memory—because to live a moment is to transform it through your own perspective. Memory is much more about one self than the object of memory.
Thursday, February 19, 2009