Black Amnesia // 2019

Soprano Voice, Bass Flute, Bass Clarinet, Percussion, & Electronics

Duration // 7'30"

for TAK Ensemble

Written for the TAK Ensemble’s February 2019 residency at Stanford University, Black Amnesia is a work composed for soprano voice, bass flute, bass clarinet, percussion, and electronics which explores themes of identity, mania, and catharsis.

Compositionally, the work utilizes fragmentation and interpolation as methodologies for crafting relationships between musical materials and text / syntax; concepts which are augmented through the use of live electronics in order to expand the sonic capabilities of the ensemble. The result of this is a chaotic work in which thematic gestures and timbral materials continuously fracture, in which antecedent musical ideas are not necessarily presented with their consequent, and in which excerpts from seven texts are continuously integrated with broken speech.

"Black Amnesia" is a reference to the first of seven texts utilized in its composition, which is an excerpt (lines 18 through 21) from The Night Dances by Sylvia Plath.

“... So your gestures flake off-
Warm and human, then their pink light
Bleeding and peeling
Through the black amnesias of heaven ...”

The remaining six texts were collected from the works of Mark Z. Danielewski, Charles Baudelaire, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Marguerite Duras, Joseph Conrad, and Dylan Walker of the band Full of Hell.

Honors

Honorable Mention / Runner-Up for the 2019 CIME Prix