OF THREADS & LABYRINTHS for oboe, harp and tape. 1994. Commissioned by Soundstreams Canada for Lawrence Cherney and Erica Goodman with a grant from the Ontario Arts Council. 15 minutes. Score, parts and ADAT tape available through PROMETHEAN EDITIONS.



Of Threads and Labyrinths is the last piece of a group of electro-acoustic works collectively titled Quaternio (also see: Pavillons En l' Air, The Birth of Venus and From the Vanishing Gardens of Eden). These four works share melodic, harmonic, rhythmic and textural ideas. Harmonically a great deal of the material is derived from the overtone series and from harmonies and timbres reminiscent of New Age music. Harmonic relationships within a given sonority are translated into relationships in time, thus rhythm and harmony are often interlocked and interdependent. Finally, these four works are in a sense the music chronicles of my personal life from the mid-eighties to the early nineties. Of Threads and Labyrinths is about the dissolution of relationships and the effort to establish a line of communication in the midst of real and imagined labyrinths. For the most part, the two instruments are not played at the same time, the players being engaged instead with their own separate realities and fantasies represented by the tape. When they do play together, the result is not always inspired, although an effort is made at some point to reach a musical consensus. Eventually, the two players resign to speaking in two different musical languages - and intonation systems - ultimately reaching an anticlimactic end. Of Threads and Labyrinths is dedicated to its commissioners, Lawrence Cherney and Erica Goodman.

Canadian premiere performance: April 4, 1995 at the Grace Church-on-the-hill, Toronto by Lawrence Cherney and Erica Goodman at an 'Encounters' concert featuring the music of Christos Hatzis and guest composer John Tavener.

Return to Principal Compositions