1111+t. sax-111-2pc+drum set, hp, pn-2111 (15’). For the Indiana University New Music Ensemble.
As the story goes, Icarus fashioned his own fall when two goals—flight and hubris—came into conflict. Even though this myth is thousands of years old, there is something about Icarus’ ambitions that feel so modern; today’s age is one of unthinkable change and surprise, of innovations and revolutions, where ambitions for something better seem reachable if you stretched just a little farther for it. I aimed in Icarus to capture not only the noise of this increasingly connected world but also the tensions inherent to our constant redefinition of goals and priorities.
The language of this piece is itself a reflection of these tensions, where repeated sections (or “ritornelli”) are pushed and pulled by various ingredients within the material fighting for greater prominence. With each structural repetition, the goal of a passage is colored by the implications of alternatingly prominent rhythmic, metric and/or harmonic characteristics. The end result is a collection of earnest, opposing aims—blazing forward while always threatening to rip the whole apart at the seams.
Live performance by the Indiana University New Music Ensemble. David Dzubay, conducting.