World premiere of version
Kings Place, London
Mark Simpson, Clarinet / Phil Dawson, Electronics /
Reading the poetry of Henri Michaux is a truly visceral, oftentimes frightening, even euphoric experience. Bodies are contorted, dismembered, writhing; and thoughts of dark, nightmarish images invite you to the furthest extremities of the human imagination. I wanted to try and capture the essence of this somehow musically.
The work falls into two large sections: The first is other-worldly, slow, undulating, slimy and dirty. It uses fractured melodies and glissandos that don’t quite seem to ever take shape and are distorted by outbursts leading to wild, nightmarish hyperactive wails and screams.
The second part is fleeting, hurried and blurred. It ends in a brutal, but ultimately euphoric climax that decays into the ether, almost as if the whole experience itself were some kind of dream or hallucination.