(Seven) Separate Ways (2004)
for oboe, clarinet, bassoon, violin, 'cello, piano and percussion - 15 minutes
(Seven) Separate Ways is the second septet I have written for the Archaeus Ensemble of Romania and is dedicated to my teacher, Andrew Imbrie.
This music concerns the divergence of pulsed music and that, which is rhythmically “free.” Music either implies a beat or it doesn’t. (I continually wonder if there might be a third possibility at this very basic level?) Pulsed music seems confined, contrived, trapped, repetitious and quite primitive, but it is fun and seems to encourage a hidden and unified audience participation (foot tapping, for example). Pulsed music is primitive, but discovering a musical beat was one of the first accomplishments by modern man – sound without pulse must have occurred prior to that event. Non-pulsed music seems liberated, more expressive and for some reason more sophisticated, but it is also promotes introspection, subjectively amplifying individual differences and, thus, dividing the listeners. It is, of course, possible to have music that is pulsed on one level, but quite free on another. Does this, then, allow for audiences to react collectively separate, individually communal, apart – together?? The title reflects this principle of human association: it is possible for a group of individuals to maintain their individuality while also maintaining their connection. If a relationship is nurtured, it expands, and it will ultimately allow for the two or more individuals to change over time, perhaps growing apart in philosophy and desire, but retaining a very basic, and surprisingly primitive bond. The bond is love.