A musician/composer/theorist colleague whom I know only via internet music theory chats thus described my new YouTube clip (Rameau Conversations with the Muses).  He didn't know what to make of it.
His comments are quite astute: yes, it is another civilization, perhaps another planet.  It required an interplanetary time-warp trip for me to get even remotely interested in this piece, which I would never have taken the trouble to do were it not for my new concert format, Mixed Bag: I tell you the composers but not the pieces, then make up a program that freely associates piece to piece as I want you, the listening-only partaker, to taste what is happening.  Afterwards I distribute the printed program.  
To make this piece engaging I had to shed all notions of notation as "Do This Now! Stay In Time! No Deviations!  Behave Like the Dots on the Piece of Paper!"  
But Rameau's principle output was vocal; why couldn't he have written an essentially vocal piece for a keyboard soloist who is potentially an entire opera cast?  So I play it vocally, which means the tones inform themselves as to when and how they might respond one to the other.  That means that the rhythms are as varied as the voices moving independently invite them to be.
Incidentally, I realize I mistranslated the title: Entretiens des Muses, I mistranslated as Conversations WITH as opposed to OF the Muses.  First I had to figure out how to overhear their conversation....thus the WITH.  I stick to my error.  Blame it on the rocket fuel that got me to that other time and place.


Comments are closed.