Wednesday, September 15, 2010


FIVE PIECES OF THE PUZZLE : septet for oboe, clarinet, violin, viola, cello, double bass and piano.

1. a rose in the sky

2. gathering rubies from the air

3. fata morgana

4. confetti

5. love’s orbit

“Five Pieces of the Puzzle” is a conflux of melodies in a variety of moods and costumes. Like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle, the forms of these pieces are irregular, apparently arbitrary, more “organic” in shape than strictly architectural. Also like jigsaw pieces, some of the movements share thematic elements, a color, a reference, while holding to an underlying identity that keeps them individual and distinct.

Above all, I was interested in exploring different musical textures and environments, juxtaposing the unfolding of pattern and the familiar with one-of-a-kind caprices and anomalies. The effect I was hoping for, more visual than auditory, was that of a mosaic, or of a kaleidoscopic representation of a mosaic — an array of fragments relating to each other while suggesting relationships and experiences beyond the circumscribed space and time of these five pieces of music. These are pieces of the puzzle, not the complete picture.

Unintentionally, the titles I gave these pieces all have a certain insubstantiality: the first in the sky, the second in the air, the third illusory, the next ephemeral, the last endlessly circling. The only title with a literary provenance is the second one, alluding to James Stephens’s short poem ‘In the imperative mood’:

“Let the man who has and doesn’t give

Break his neck, and cease to live!

Let him who gives without a care

Gather rubies from the air!”

. . . . .

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