In reading John Ashbery’s poem, No Longer Very Clear
, I was struck by the contrasting imagery in the adjacent phrases “How like pellucid statues, Daddy, Or like a…engine.”
The frozen translucent statues seemed to me to be a marvelous foil for the pulsating hot energy of an engine – both images, as seen through the eyes of a child, readily evoked musical ideas.
The unique sound of double reeds seemed at once to be the right choice, and fulfilled a desire I have always had to write for multiple bassoons.
The work utilizes row techniques, and is in two parts – the first a picture of the frozen pellucid statues, and the second, an aural portrait of the energy and acceleration inherent in the words “an engine.”