Monday, February 4, 2013
On January 21, 2013, I was part of the first-ever Canadian integral performance of all the Berio Sequenze. Here is an account from WholeNote reviewer, Wendalyn Bartely. The whole show was incredibly stimulating and curious.
Playing Sequenza XII was a harrowing, thrilling experience for me. I felt shredded by the effort of pulling all of the technique together in the too-short time I had to fully learn the piece. I felt like a deconstructed clock, put back together... everything seems to run the same but now I am aware of things that have existed only before on the periphery... sounds and techniques that I have toyed but have never been obliged to put together into something that is so unabashedly committed to its own unique outcome.
It kind of kicked me into a parallel universe where I find it more difficult to be certain of cause and effect. I feel like I have been taken to an alien planet where oxygen still exists yet something is utterly different. Reeds are different after the experience of not taking my lips off them for the full length of the piece (which ranged from 13-19 minutes depending on my state of panic); fingers, after learning how to navigate pitch slides throughout the full range of the bassoon and do furiously dynamic timbral trills with widely separated notes; tongue after being asked to participate in so many ways; air after circular breathing and pitch bending and colouring the sounds.
I feel like sitting quietly and not talking much.
But that’ll never happen.
I continue practising this alien language that has become so physically addictive and will play the work again in 6 months.
(Edoardo Sanguineti's poems were read by Guy Few before each Sequenza --- here is the bassoon one in clumsy English... will dig out the Italian)
I move very slow
I look at you from all sides