Possible Worlds

For Performer with MIDI technology

This work was commissioned by Cambridgeshire Libraries for a Fantasy and Sci-Fi Festival held in 1987. It was a collaboration between the musician Julio D’Escrivan, the poet Margaret Melicharova, the artist Brian Lewis and the composer Nigel Morgan.

The musical score was written at a period when the new technology of MIDI was just beginning to make an impact on the performance practice of musicians. It was conceived partly as a graphic score, partly as a
collection of sounds and soundscapes, partly as a sequence of computer-based codes and instructions. The performer playing a MIDI controller (in the premiere a Stepp DGI Guitar Controller) is ‘controlled’ by a computer running a prior-recorded sequence of Sysex and patch change instructions that set up sounds, tunings, and interactions between the performer’s instrument and a synthesiser and sampler.

The music was designed for performance in public libraries throughoutCambridgeshire. It was accompanied by an exhibition of remarkable alchemical paintings by Brian Lewis with interpretation and poetry by Margaret Melicharova.

The secret, secretly known, is still secret.

The mystery, mysteriously revealed, is still mysterious.

….Winged flowers, pinions secretly pinioned,

….Lean to the enigma of the motionless bird in flight,

….Leap beyond strange triangular islands of golden light.

The secret, secretly known, is still secret.

….The mystery, mysteriously revealed, is still mysterious.

….Hidden fires white hot in dark furnaces and chimneys

….Effect invisible change. Earth and water and air

….Are confused inexplicably: there; not there; there.

The secret, secretly known, is still secret.

The mystery, mysteriously revealed, is still mysterious.

….Like water, fount and origin, spring sublime the golden bird.

….It dies by burning, fusing and confusing the elements.

….A cleft-footed gryphon, indifferent yet protective,

….….
maintains its inscrutable innocence.

The secret, secretly known, is still secret.

The mystery, mysteriously revealed, is still mysterious.

….Concealed
among arcane obelisks, impenetrable enclosures,

….Expressive unformed birdshapes, appear complex conceits of flight,

….Numinous, esoteric, divinity accessible to sight.

The secret, secretly known, is still secret.

The mystery, mysteriously revealed, is still mysterious.

Downloads

Extract from 1987 performance (Julio D’Escrivan) [mp3]