This work takes Baudelaire’s Lethe from The Flowers of Evil as its point of inspiration where a cruel woman is treated as a metaphor for the river Lethe and its association with oblivion. Dark, violent textures, often frantic and aggressive permeate the work. The Trombone has a dual role as either integrated with the ensemble or clearly leading it with long, yearning intense melodies. The second half of the piece sees the appearance of a barren musical landscape and a lamenting semi-tonal dissonance which contrasts from the erratic, violent opening, with the Trombonist literally singing through the instrument. The piece ends with the Trombone and cello being dragged unwillingly into the murky depths of Lethe’s deathly riverbed.
(c) Mark Simpson 2011