Wednesday, June 1, 2011

So here is a piece of music from Cassandra, just finished, hot off the press, the bits still shimmering on the hard drive. It is an instrumental, where action on stage is followed by the music. I realized, composing this music, that the action onstage was part of the composition, and I found myself reducing musical ideas to their essence, so they hold just the right balance. As a result, it seems to me essential that a listener knows what's going on here (directions are written in the score).

The piano part in the beginning accompanies Cassandra and her slave Partana in the temple after a ritual (long story, but...). Then Partana leaves, and the priest Pantos enters (he's the violin, essentially). Pantos watches her awhile and it's a little creepy. Partana returns unseen and hides, watching what unfolds. Pantos drugs a glass of wine and offers it to Cassandra, who drinks. That's when the drums come in and immediately the scene intensifies. Pantos goes off on the side and puts on a mask to look like Apollo, as Cassandra weakens and lays down on a bench. He comes over to her, and she tries to resist, but she is too drugged to stop him as he gets on top of her. Just then Partana bursts out of hiding and clobbers Pantos over the head. She helps Cassandra up and they exit.