A piece that is unburdened by any trace of grandeur, 'Consolation' aims to reflect on the exact opposite; being written with the intention to grasp a poetry hidden in the plain, spontaneous mundaneness of life. Such beauty emanates and evaporates quickly, sometimes in a matter of minutes or seconds, as it is often bound to an unremarkable, ordinary moment. The piece takes one of such instances as its reference: a brief circumstance where one person is consoling the other. By acting as an aural abstraction of this scene, 'Consolation' aims to bring out a hidden musicality in this moment that would otherwise be overlooked in the swift passing of time.
Notes to the performer:
A brief and intimate moment of consolation is enacted in this piece where one person is tenderly speaking to the other. The piece mostly imitates a specific mode of speech that borderlines whispering and speaking tones. Before engaging with the piece, try speaking in this silent register yourself and consider how tiny bits of tone (or in musical terms, pitch) will inevitably slip out among what is mostly an airy, toneless whispering voice. The piece is meant to be performed in an extremely soft, silent, murmuring voice, as if only a person standing right next to your face should be able to hear it. Therefore, amplification will almost always be necessary to bring out an ASMR-like quality in the performance.
An organic blend of the clarinet and voice is also crucial for this piece to work. In order to achieve this, the performer should approach the divided staves as a whole and make effort to play them in a naturally flowing, speech-like legato with dynamic balance. The pitch material is not meant to be sung like a vocalist, but simply meant to be conveyed (through the clarinet) as it would occur in actual speech.
Performed by Renaud Guy-Roussaeu, April 25.2019 - Barcelona, Spain.
Miniature commission from Mixtur Festival for the festival program.
3.5 minutes - for amplified clarinet