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beet31425 - David Thomas Roberts Two Pieces I: In One Isolation: Message Board

beet31425's Comments

Two Pieces (1976), "In One Isolation" and "My Unseen" are explorations of atmospheres both dark and dreamy. The chief influence upon the first was the spare, early piano music of John Cage, whereas the second reflects the impact of Polish Minimalist Tomasz Sikorski, who I had seen in concert and met that year. Working amid the negative, counterproductive music department of Florida State University at the time, I found much inspiration in the example of Sikorski, whose leanings were similar to my own. These pieces also bear the significance of establishing my history as a second generation Minimalist, working in a quasi-vacuum in the heyday of Minimalist exploration.---David Thomas Roberts, August, 2010

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Name Date Comment
heidiv 2010-08-22 13:23:51 As musicians, I suppose it's our tendency to be "active" listeners. We hear intervals, we hear chord progressions, we try to analyze. I find I enjoy minimalism more If I think less. In this piece, I really enjoyed hearing the decay of the sound and the overtones produced by the two notes. Some listeners might find the piece foreboding or unnerving, but I found it very calming.
Inlanding 2010-08-21 22:56:11 There's a certain simultaneous tension and relaxation that's created. I've been living in a vacuum as this is the first I've heard this style of music. It is very compelling and you play it with such patience. Really great!
jason (beet31425) 2010-08-21 03:14:36 Glad you like it. It's certainly grown on my. In terms of structure, here's what I think, after some discussion with the composer:
I. first two phrases (0:00 - 0:35): akin to an exposition
II. next two phrases (0:36 - 1:19) like a development, ending in the cryptic "chill Arctic note" (as described by the composer) at 1:08
III. two two-note phrases transitioning back to
IV. recapitulation (last two phrases)
jason 2010-08-21 03:05:05
wr 2010-08-21 02:41:00 I like this very much. That surprises me, because for the first few seconds, I thought it was going to be another deadly piece of the "plink, plonk" sort that beginner students of serialism used to churn out by the ream. But it is much more interesting than that, and is beautiful.
gerg 2010-08-21 02:38:56 I am trying to understand it. There is something there; it's difficult to decipher with traditional frameworks. Is there meaning, or is the message he's trying to convey a certain lightness, an absence of meaning altogether?

It transcends the usual and stimulates thought, deep thought in an odd paradox in that the search for deep meaning itself, the quest for an anchor reveals as its answer the exact opposite of that sought. It conveys, to my mind, a sense of oblivion.

This is interesting and thought-provoking.
Sorcerer88 2010-08-20 22:13:50 It's interesting to try to figure out the intervals. And one need only imagine a rythm and melody somewhere in there to get a traditional piece. It's refreshing to listen to something like this from time to time.