23 September 2014

Program Note for a Piece Which No Longer Exists in Quite That Form

The Tower Room Is Empty (in memoriam Wm A. Goodwin)

Having in mind the complexities, asymmetries, and rhythmic challenges of so much new music, Bill joked with me several times that I could write anything for him, anything at all, so long as it was (1) in C Major, (2) in 4/4 time, (3) written all in whole-notes, and (4) marked Largo. In fact, Bill was a great sport, and responded uncomplainingly to the changes in meter which frequently appear in my music. There were many occasions when Bill invited me to play clarinet as part of the service at this church, and he accompanied. For this elegiac piece, then, it seemed to me fitting (first) to compose a piece with a free, seemingly improvisatory rhythmic profile; and (second) that the piece be for clarinet unaccompanied, since Mr Goodwin is no longer at the console of the E.&G.G. Hook organ to which he was so affectionately devoted.

[Postscript: the sketches I made for The Tower Room Is Empty have since been subsumed into the cello and piano piece, ...illa existimans quia hortulanus esset... This latter piece assumes the Op.121 number which I had originally reserved for The Tower Room Is Empty.]

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