Percussion Keyboards Strings Winds Mixed Ensembles Electronic       double regard et sept baigneuses
for two guitars and optional crotales

Work no. 195


    This is one of the satellite pieces of Many Pink Butterflies, derived from that work's Solo VIII. Each solo in MPB is about a minute long, and explores a single compositional technique. A satellite piece based on a solo develops that technique further. In this case, the technique was self-similar melodies – not in Tom Johnson's sense of the word, but simply melodic threads which are built almost identically, sharing entire parts of their construction, but developing differently. There are seven sections in double regard et..., all based on fragments of melodies from the original solo, and all constructed almost identically.

    I have a lifelong fascination with visual art, but I feel this is the first work in which it has clearly manifested itself. The title refers to a drypoint by Picasso, from La Séries 156. The full title is Degas au double regard et sept baigneuses ("Degas with Double Vision and Seven Bathers"). The lattice effect of the lines of the bathers' bodies in the drypoint made me think of creating a similar structure in music. The voyeuristic theme of the drypoint, the double vision, the solitude and the closeness of death (Picasso died about a year after completing the last prints of the series), the childlike, game-like nature of the image, the act of drawing, all found their equivalents in the music even if I never consciously thought of bringing them into the piece.

    The exploration of melody here is another variant of the techniques used in The Nature of Desire, which itself was a satellite piece to Assemblage, a work for guitar and string quartet. double regard et sept baigneuses – PDF score  

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