02 July 2024

What Became of 'Barefoot on the Crowded Road'

Thank God I’m not on the road: When the radio personality says “afternoon reset,” but the music says “afternoon nap.”
Dreamt I went to a Lebanese bistro in a strip mall called The Shopping Off-Center, and the house specialty was “lamb chowder.”
Porridger’s Almanack (Breakfast of Ganglions)

...the BBC’s attitude toward the show [the radio production of THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY] while it was in production was very similar to that which Macbeth had toward murdering people—initial doubts, followed by cautious enthusiasm and then greater and greater alarm at the sheer scale of the undertaking and still no end in sight. Reports that Geoffrey and I and the sound engineers were buried in a subterranean studio for weeks on end, taking as long to produce a single sound effect as other people took to produce an entire series (and stealing everybody else's studio time in which to do so) were all vigorously denied but absolutely true. 'The budget of the series escalated to the point that it could have practically paid for a few seconds of DALLAS ....

— Douglas Adams

So, some fourteen years ago, when White Nights would still have been a work-in-progress (if I had been applying myself to its progress, which I may not have been) I had a kind of Cola be damned feeling and decided that in spite of no apparent demand for orchestral music from me, and in the teeth of those who treated me like a kind of Enemy of Culture if I persist in writing abstract music, I decided to compose Discreet Erasures. As this post reminds me, the piece sprang in a way from a brief start I had made long before on an orchestral score I had headed Barefoot on the Crowded Road. I never got far on the road at that time, but I never disowned those first few steps, either. At the time of composing the Erasures, I dedicated the score to Charles Wuorinen. Since the piece never saw light while Charles yet breathed, it will serve in memoriam.

1 comment:

Cato said...

Do not erase Discreet Erasures, discreetly or otherwise!