Piano Trio “The Chronophage”
for violin, cello & piano
16 mins (2011)
Il brilgue: les tôves lubricilleux
Se gyrent en vrillant dans le guave.
Enmîmés sont les gougebosqueux
Et le mômerade horsgrave.
Frank L. Warrin
(after Lewis Carroll)
I often find it difficult to come up with titles for pieces – having conceived them in an essentially abstract way, it feels strange to tie them to some piece of art, science or literature from the ‘real world’. When I was doing my usual routine of trawling books and the internet to find a cultural reference that might have a tenuous relation to the way this piece was turning out, I came across Frank Warrin’s French translation of Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky.
Jabberwocky is of course filled with nonexistent words that somehow conjure up a strong (if imprecise) sense of meaning and significance. The translation, Le Jaseroque, is thus a translation of a made-up language – masterfully preserving the semantic sense of its nonsense English counterpart. ‘Enmîmés sont les gougebosqueux‘ is a translation of ‘All mimsy were the borogroves‘. It struck me that as composers, it is as if we are operating with a made-up language – none of our material has any objective ‘sense’ or meaning, but in the listener it conjures strong mental and sensual responses – responses that are fuzzily indescribable yet clear and intoxicating. My piece (like most of my other ones) is therefore merely eight minutes of sound and play – like a made-up language a few translations down the line, I hope that the nonsense herein makes some strange and beautiful sense to the listener.
|27 Jun 2012||Gemini Ensemble, Hyun-Jin Yun (cond.) World premiere of Quintet version
St Magnus Festival, Orkney, UK
|9 Dec 2012||Area21 Ensemble, Mischa Tangian (cond.)
King’s College London, UK
|14 Mar 2013||Psappha, Mark Heron (cond.) World premiere of Quartet version
Bangor New Music Festival, UK
|11 May 2013||Ensemble Platypus Austrian premiere
Echoraum, Vienna, Austria
|7 Mar 2014||Psappha
Cosmo Rodewald Hall, Manchester, UK
|22 Apr 2014||Ensemble Konvergence Czech premiere
Church of St. Vavřinec, Prague, Czech Republic
|30 Oct 2014||Mary Dullea, Rose Redgrave, Rowland Sutherland & Alice Purton
Austrian Cultural Forum, London, UK