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Gabriela Lena Frank

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Hypnagogia (2008)
G Schirmer Inc
Works for 2-6 Players
Sub Category
Other String Ensemble
Year Composed
15 Minutes
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Programme Note
Gabriela Lena Frank Hypnagogia (2008)
My dream life is an active one, almost unbearably so. Upon leaving my bed each day, a losing battle commences to silence ghosts beckoning in the periphery — Ghosts who would have me make my wayward passage shrouded in a memory of a more vivid and mysterious life. Every night, I steal away. And every morning, the daybreak steals me back.

This has gone on for some time.

Over the years, the journey to and fro matures. Deep sleep and a good ol’ cathartic dream is the nightly destination, but the descent itself deserves notice — a bizarre and highly condensed slideshow of family members’ faces, mythical llamas from Peruvian fairy tales, a crucified yet laughing Christ, an abandoned playground swing, a dewinged butterfly… Disconnected yet unified. Fleeting yet leaving an impression. Dispassionate yet capable of leaving me quietly stunned, emotional.

Hypnagogia is the name given to this roadmap into our psyche, and it is the name likewise given to my musical composition for string sextet. The scordatura tunings help to lend an otherworldly sound, and the quasi-through-composed short-lived sections are in the spirit of hypnagogic reverie. The music loosely draws on fragments from Peruvian folkloric music I heard as a child. And throughout, the soloistic role of the first viola player reveals an observer who is neither here nor there and everywhere in between.

As I say, this has gone on for some time.

It still goes.

— Gabriela Lena Frank

  • 06 MAY 2011
    Rose Lehrman Arts Center Harrisburg, PA

    Other Dates:
    8 May - Bolton Street Synagogue, Baltimore, MD
    9 May - Merkin Hall, New York, NY
  • 17 MAY 2008
    Hypnagogia World Premiere
    Harrisburg, PA

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