Tortus

oboe, vibraphone, guitar, viola.

2011-2018: 26 mins. approx.

  

By mid 2012, movements 1 and 4 had been completed, but a series of other projects (e.g. …like a Maelstrom : double concerto for piano, trumpet and small orchestra) kept me from finally completing Tortus until May 2018.

For oboe, vibraphone, guitar, and viola, it is in six movements, of which …in Coils, Twist, Espiral, & Turn are suitable for extraction and performance as separate works in their own right.

  

(i) …in Coils.

oboe, viola.

2011: 4’30” approx.

  

“…the Drawling-master…taught us Drawling, Stretching, and Fainting in Coils.”

from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

“…Cogs and disks, inane mechanic whims,

And idle coils of jargon yet unspoken…”

from Sonnet : To Eva by Sylvia Plath.

(ii) Twist.

guitar, viola.

2018: 2’15” approx.

  

“...These waking dreams of life and death,  

In the mirror are twisted and buckled…

....I'd search out every knowledge that I could find,  

Unravel all the mysteries of mind,  

If I only had time...”

from Sleepwalkers by Peter Hammill.

(iii) Curve.

vibraphone, guitar, viola.  

2018: 1’00” approx.

  

“Given time we lead the lives we make.

The curve that we trace in time, a shape of our own design.”

from Given Time by Peter Hammill.

(iv) Espiral.

oboe, vibraphone.  

2012: 7’45” approx.

  

(a) 2’00” approx. (b) 2’45” approx. (c) 3’00” approx.

espiral (Spanish) = spiral

“The spiral is a spiritualized circle. In the spiral form, the circle, uncoiled, unwound, has ceased to be vicious; it has been set free…”

from Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov.

(v) Turn.

vibraphone, viola.

2018: 4’15” approx.

  

“Turn a card, turn a page,

the action sure to start, second-stage reaction

to illogical thoughts on random lines…

……Here we are, there we went, full circle…”

from Shell by Peter Hammill.

(vi) Tortility.

oboe, vibraphone, guitar, viola.

2018: 6’15” approx.

(a) 2’00” approx. (b) 2’10” approx. (c) 2’05” approx.

  

tortile (adj): twisted or coiled.

tortility (noun).

from Latin : tortilis – winding, from tortus – twisted.

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