CHRISTOPHER BIGGS

Mindreaders for flute, clarinet, and live digital audio/video (2011)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Performed by Sophia Tegart (flute), Gabrielle Bafoni (clarinet), and Richard Johnson (computer)

Program Notes

Mindreaders was written in 2010 in response to a request for a new composition by flutist Sophia Tegart and clarinetist Gabrielle Baffoni.  The piece is a series of seven variations on the chant “Alleuia Pascha Nostrum.”   The work explores a nebulous nexus between phenomenological mindreading, semiotics, musical representation, and non-attributable, hidden processes; the first three of which can be considered non-verbal forms of communication.  Phenomenological mindreading refers to the ability of humans to attribute mental states to others based on their interpretations of others’ facial expressions and gestures.  Semiotics is the study of signs and signification.  Many people consider music a language that communicates something—to foster the possibility of representationalism in music this work is based on a pre-existent work that had its own sociological functions and has its own connotations.

In this work each of the seven sections explores facets of a particular emotional state.  Before the performance each instrumental performer chooses an object that s/he associates with each emotional state indicated in the score and presents those objects prior to each section during performance.  Simultaneously the music and video present other interpretations of the indicated emotional state.  This creates a multifaceted process of abstract signification, which, depending on any individual’s interpretation of any of these stimuli, will have contradictory and/or congruent features.  The hidden processes refer to the live sound-file playback coordinated by the computer performer.  The computer part presents an additional layer of signification. 

 

The entire score and all performance/rehearsal materials are available for download.
Please let me know if you have any questions or if you are interested in performing this work.

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