“What is the most resilient parasite? Bacteria? A virus? An intestinal worm? An idea. Resilient… highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold of the brain it’s almost impossible to eradicate. An idea that is fully formed – fully understood – that sticks; right in there somewhere.” -Dom Cobb, “Inception”
A quartet of dreams, four layers down. A dream within a dream within a dream within a dream. To plant an idea, a thought so deep in someone’s brain that it will permeate like a disease. In my experience, dreams aren’t necessary to do this. Inception within a dream isn’t necessary for what is essentially mind control. Repetition of ideas and thoughts can accomplish this often times, and experiencing emotions at a primal level can also accomplish this as well. There are many ways an idea or thought can take hold, but it is very true that it can be stronger than a virus and more resilient than a parasite. Thoughts and ideas can be more powerful than death. Thoughts and ideas resonate and continue to regenerate and pass down long after the person who first uttered the idea or thought has passed.
Quatour pour la Fin du Temps
Quartet for the End of Time. The solo movement for clarinet alone-The Abyss of the Birds. Composed by Oliver Messiaen.
This piece is in eight movements. It is scored for Clarinet, Violin, Cello and Piano. This is a very unique pairing of instruments. Messiaen wrote the piece while he was a prisoner in German captivity during the war. The piece was premiered in 1941. It was originally written as a trio and then the piano part was added in, which he played in the premiere. The piece was premiered by himself and his fellow prisoners. The complete work has a duration of approximately 50 minutes.
In the preface inside the score, Messiaen wrote that the piece was inspired by the Book of Revelation from the Bible. The text that he was inspired by that is in the inscription reads as follows:
And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire … and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth …. And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever and ever … that there should be time no longer: But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished …
There are separate inscriptions to describe each movement. Some of the movements are for the full quartet, but some of the movements are for different variations of instrumentation within the quartet.
The third movement is the Abyss of the Birds, which is the recording above of me performing this movement live at one of my former recitals. I played this movement during a recital that I themed as “Journey through the Woods”. I specifically painted the painting that is on my home page for that recital and I dressed within the theme and had a slide show in the background of Wooded scenes as pictured above. I also wrote a poem and had other poetry read in between pieces. It was a multimedia experience. I was very proud of this recital. It was very stressful putting it all together, but some day I hope to do something like this again, perhaps when my daughter is a bit older and I have a little more time to focus and dedicate the time needed to pull something like that off.
Humorous Scherzo by: Prokofiev
Performed by: Galaxy Quartet
Earlier this year, I had a faculty recital performance at the college that I used to teach Adjunct Applied Clarinet Lessons at. I just tendered my resignation this semester for several reasons (all for my own sanity purposes). At any rate, in the past for this faculty recital I had always done a duet with a fellow friend and colleague flutist. Last year I wasn’t able to perform so she had her quartet play. This year I was able to play again and her quartet wanted to play again, but they were short a clarinet player, so I subbed for their missing clarinet player and we all played the recital together. The quartet consists of 2 flutes and 2 clarinets. I had never played in this instrumentation of an ensemble before. It was unique. I enjoyed it, but the other clarinetist and I (who was the leader of the group) had a clash in personalities. So it will be a one time thing. But it was fun to play with a new instrumentation and explore music I had not played before.