Portmanteaux: Foundry fragment




See documentation of Portmanteaux.

Previously the piece was performed at the Wigmore Hall (April 5th 2008) and was presented with this program note:

"Monuments, in their grandeur and imposing splendour, are manifestly present, while simultaneously marking an absence: they refer to a time since passed. The piece which now erupts into Wigmore Hall stands as a monument to a collaborative process which began months ago in an alley café off Brick Lane. Bound into its form is the staining dirt of the journey, telescoped into this moment and sung through the body of the French soprano Emilie Brégeon.

Drawing on Emilie's nationality and the concept of translation, two poems were written which play on the ambiguities between the French and English languages, and broadly situate themselves within the two sites of Wigmore Hall and Brick Lane. The poems, translated into two sets of musical material, are presented simultaneously: at every given point the voice is singing one of the poems while a setting of the other is rendered by one or more of the instrumental lines.

There are several words in the poem whose meaning changes depending on whether they are contextualised within a French or English Lexicon. These words, or portmanteaux, are written in bold in poem 1 and form points of transition to or from poem 2, which contains these words as well as the text presented here. At some of these transition words the voice and instruments swap roles, and so neither poem is sung in its entirety. Thus, like the monument, the text in performance is both present and absent: the form of the piece points away from itself to something that is irretrievably lost."

Poem 1.

Stalkers eight pedicel prick manila into street
Regardez les briques brillantes, hawkers assassin
Fly nail _ ash _ calcite moons _ autoclave cloy
Malevolent cloister plus le temps et l'espace: deafen

Shed oyster shatter cobble to bakery barracks
Miasma tongues faulty torque embrace sky halls
Un probleme de la vie quotidienne: throttle loss
Gaze vaunted gather lit.

Fisheye lens.
Red red alabaster///

There are words for your love aleatoric
Circadian spinnerets: cavalcade of centers, aleurone
Fait gasp pain.

Jitter fleuron sepia stymied lead septic death,
Skeptic light rusted post-blonde so basal sweet
My date coagulated, rivers infect yeast into mean
Braced in every brick this thought.


Everything Quotidian:
Everything is Night:

A haunted Rue

Poem 2.

(for your company my silent monument I do pay)

At The Foundry performance (14th/5th/08) Emilie was not able to make it so the piece was radically reworked and re-conceived for the Foundry.

Wigmore Hall Performers:

Composer: Edward Nesbit
Poet: Steve Willey
Voice: Soprano Emilie Brégeon
Clarinet 1: James Burke
Clarinet 2: Cristina Strike
Viola: Drew Balch
Vibraphone: Gregory Felton

Foundry Performers:
Composer: Edward Nesbit
Poet: Steve Willey
Voice: Steve Willey
Viola: Drew Balch
Clarinet 1: Hannah Laurence
Clarinet 2:Tagore Gonzalez
Vibraphone: Gregory Felton

Reader Comments (1)

[...] Click here to read more about the text and performances of Portmanteaux Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Easy convert of PDF to Word.Adobe cancels in-PDF advertising program [...]

Saturday, March 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPortmanteaux///Document &laquo

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