Nicky HIND

Cem DURUÖZ (guitar in Ripples)

Stéphane ROY


Jonathan NORTON


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Nicholas HOPKINS Double on Joyce Transcription I (1994/#6)
Since the age of 13, Nicholas Hopkins has concentrated on music composition and piano performance. He has performed with contemporary music ensembles at Stanford University and in Boston, Hungary, Holland and Italy. He has studied composition with Robert Ceely at the New England Conservatory of Music and with Leland Smith, John Chowning and Wayne Peterson at Stanford. He has also studied digital sound-processing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, the Netherlands and at Stanford's CCRMA. He received his doctorate degree at Stanford in 1994, and worked for one year as a lecturer in music composition and theory. He is presently serving as musical assistant for Luciano Berio in Florence and working as an engraver and editor for Universal Edition in Vienna. He is also writing a book on the performance practice of twentieth-century music. Double on Joyce Transcription I is the sixth in a projected cycle of pieces that act as musical commentaries on James Joyce's Finnegans Wake. Each piece in the cycle is based on one of the seventeen chapters of the book, and in each I attempt to transcribe Joyce's literary operations into musical ones. The transcription process varies in each piece; it can, for example, focus on organizational elements of the respective chapter or on global processes that Joyce composed to provide direction. Also of significance with this procedure are the interaction between the principal characters of the book and the manner in which these interactions contribute to the "Texture" of each chapter. Double on Joyce Transcription I is a reworking of Joyce Transcription I (1992/#1) for solo piano, which serves as the basic source material for both the piano and tape parts. The fundamental idea in this version is establishing distinct temporal layers, as Joyce similarly did in Finnegans Wake, based on the presentation of the three sections of the original piece. The first section is performed by the piano alone, unadulterated. The second section marks the entry of the tape, which contests the material of the second section of the piano part by performing both the first and third sections. Lastly, in the third section, all three sections are incorporated simultaneously. It is thus an attempt to work with musical "tense" - more specifically, an attempt to work with the listener's memory of events - corresponding in part to the "dream nesting" that pervades all of Finnegans Wake. Another means for composing the piano and tape parts is derived from the notion of "crossing" or exchange of roles, a procedure used by Joyce in Chapter 10 ("Night Lessons"). In this chapter, the approximate center of the book, the twins Shem and Shaun exchange identities and maintain them for the remainder of the book. This principle is used in this piece to organize the "concert" of the two parts in the second and third sections, where the piano and tape gradually exchange principality; they become increasingly coordinated as they approach equivalence in principality and less co-ordinated as equivalence is reduced. The crossing tendency is also used to organize events in the tape within the stereo field, where events gradually cross from one side to the other over the course of the work. As with the earlier solo piano piece, what I want to achieve most of all in this work is the multiplicity of sense that Joyce so astutely developed in his final book. With this procedure, the reader follows his own path, rather than the author's; the reader essentially does his own work.