Apropos

“The words… froze in the air; and now, the rigor of the winter being over, by the serenity and warmth of the weather they melt and are heard” (Rabelais).

Apropos is a new work composed for the incredible soprano Tony Arnold and fixed media. The piece confronts memory– its fragility, volatility, and lingering presence. It was conceptually inspired by ancient tales of places where it is so cold that in winter words freeze solid as soon as they are spoken, fall to earth encased in ice, and remain unheard until spring. When the encasing ice melts the frozen speech is released and may be heard. Words spoken months prior finally gain audibility, although the speaker and the occasion of their utterance has since disappeared. Only the voice remains.

The fixed media soundtrack creates an immaterial landscape from recordings of breath, ice, water, and samples of orchestral instruments. Its orchestration alternates between lush inhabiting and stark empty air.