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The Nature of Desire
for solo alto flute

Work no. 153
2020

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    My 2018 guitar quintet Assemblage was based on a skeletal outline of a melody, which grew as the piece progressed. Someone suggested to me that it could be seen as a wish which gets more and more detailed as time goes by; the string quartet being the circumstances which shape the desire. That interpretation stuck with me. This alto flute solo explores the same melody, but instead of the melody growing and changing, the piece zooms in, in a way, filling the spaces between the notes. As the level of magnification increases, the piece becomes more and more virtuosic, muscular, as if all desires, no matter how noble and how complicated, were ultimately an expression of a physical need, a biological need. At the end, the same bit of music repeats over and over, like the building blocks of life, or matter, or both.

    Although it's a dark concept, I grew really fond of the piece, and feel it's one of my best. It no longer suggests a negative interpretation to me, but it certainly is a very different take on the mechanics of desire than the one seen in Assemblage. The mechanic of "zooming in" on a melody was later used in ...au double regard et sept baigneuses and the associated pieces.


    The Nature of Desire – PDF score  


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