The Dreams and Disillusions of a Tightrope Walker


The Dreams and Disillusions of a Tightrope Walker


The Dreams and Disillusions of a Tightrope Walker [2018]

Harp and Vibraphone

Duration: 14’.34’’

The Dreams and Disillusions of a Tightrope Walker [2018]

Written and dedicated to Duo Harpverk from Iceland,  “The Dreams and Disillusions of a Tightrope Walker” is deeply inspired by Nietzche book “Thus Spake Zarathustra”. Written in 5 short movements for harp and vibraphone, the composition works as a kind of a ‘baroque’ micro opera, where both instruments intend to express the inner feelings of a funambule in his/her lonely and dangerous performance, bringing to the listener states of joy, sweetness, sadness, odd memories, fears, and weirdness. The music is very simple, almost naive.

The harmonic material is based on the Jewish mode “freygish” (Phrygian Dominant scale but here with sharpened 7th). Here is Nietzsche passage used for inspiration: “Then that came to pass which silenced every mouth and fixed every eye. For in the meantime the Rope-Dancer had begun his task: he had stepped forth from little door and walked upon the rope which was stretched between two towers so that it spanned the market-place and the people.

When he was midway the little door opened and a gaily dressed fellow like a clown leaped out and went with quick steps after the first. “On with you, lame-leg,” he cried in a terrible voice.“On with you, lazy-bones, cheat, sallow-face! – lest I tickle thee with my feet! What dost thou here between the towers? Thy place is in the tower. Thou shouldst be jailed, for thou barred free way to thy better!” [Friedrich Nietzsche, “Thus Spake Zarathustra” 1883-92]

Duo Harpverk are: Katie Buckley (Harp) and Frank Aarnink (Vibraphone). Recorded at its premiere in Mengi, Reykjavík, Iceland – Feb, 24, 2019

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