Title: An unknown loss
First performance: Chimera Ensemble, Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall (09/12/2011)
Purchase score: This score is currently unpublished, but can be added to Composers Edition. Please contact me for more info.
Though a voice is present, this work is essentially a trio (after Mozart’s Kegelstatt Trio K. 498 of the same instrumentation). The other point of departure was the following text attributed to Ernest Hemingway: “For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn”.
At first glance this text seems a fragment, but after a moment the narrative completeness becomes painfully clear. A mere newspaper advertisement (attributed to Ernest Hemingway), there is nothing in the text which is in and of itself tragic, yet the logical conclusion we will no doubt come to speaks of emotional suffering of the highest degree. This is a moving text, and that we are able to be thus moved by mere implication is curious.
Musical material is brief, plainly stated and clear. This material forms the basis for the entire work which can be seen as a result of a restrained array of motifs and gestures. The text acts as the basis for a chorus heard three times throughout the piece, with two verses and two interludes (the second of these being the coda) making up the main body of the work. The narrative of the text is not intentionally reflected in the music, though its sombre nature fits the piece well.