"Dressing old words new" (1994/96)

for bass saxophone and tape (Version II for bass-clarinet and tape)

tape: 2 channel, CDR/DAT

The structure of the piece is based upon formal characteristics and idiomatic expressions of the 76. sonnet by William Shakespeare which was analysed by pitch to midi converter and computer programs. The sound of Jack Edward´s recitation (British performer of Shakespeare´s work) was transformed and produced metric-rhythmical patterns and pitches thus generating the material for the composition. The basic patterns are intergrated in original form, varied, or completely abstracted and again reduced. They represent the micro form of the piece. The macro form is a mirror of the sonnet´s construction (4 parts, the number of words in a part or in a line etc.). In "dressing old words new" we find three planes which change their dominance during the process of the time.The part of the bass clarinet line is one of the planes - the others are represented by the original and transformed recitations of Jack Edward and some midi guitar sounds which were also controlled and produced through the speech. All sounds on tape are derived only from this material and because of the digital manipulation and transformation, the language is imbued with its own tonal dimension. The subdivision of the piece in four large and ten small parts describes the form of the sonnet and the characteristic number of syllables of all lines. The number of 115 bars (33+32+32+18) is equal to the number of the words in each part of the text. The time signatures and permutations refer to the number of words in every line of Shakespeare´s work.


How can my Muse want subject to invent
While thou dost breathe, that pour´st into my verse
Thine own sweet argument, too excellent
For every vulgar paper to rehearse ?

O, give thyself the thanks, if aught in me
Worthy perusal stand against thy sight;
For who´s so dump that cannot write on thee,
When thou thyself dost give invention light ?

Be thou tenth Muse, ten times more in worth
Than those old nine which rhymers invocate;
And he that calls on thee, let bring him forth
Eternal numbers to outlive long date.

If my slight Muse do please these curious days,
The pain be mine, but thine shall be the praise.

William Shakespeare, Sonnet XXXVIII