Elixirs: Program Note

Music has an almost mystical ability to affect people in a multitude of ways.  It can be used to invigorate, heal and to becalm.  It can awaken sensual desires, fulfill spiritual needs and even alter one’s state of mind.  The fifteen miniatures of Elixirs draw their inspiration from a wide variety of remedies, stimulants, sedatives, mood-enhancers etc… sold in today’s society.   Here are musico-medico descriptions of each miniature.

Espresso: falling staccato melodies and a rapid rising scale comprise this little stimulant that gets things started. 

Saturnalia:  after a night of revelry this elixir can cure any hangover.  The bass clarinetist is the ill-sounding soloist.

For Inner Harmony:  deep breaths for those seeking a meditative-like spiritual calm.  

Pacemaker:  composed of multiple overlapping rhythmic pulses, this miniature is a reflection on a busy life in which one must be many things to many people.  The danger is, of course, that one might suddenly...    ...stop... 

Pillow:  for gradual relief

Clone:  this elixir might not be as good as the real thing.  Musically, it is a clone (perhaps  an evil clone) of another miniature.

Tilt a’ Whirl: an anti-depressant inspired by the amusement park ride of the same name.

Schizisms:  This miniature is a potpourri of direct quotes from all of the other miniatures.  It is somewhat like a musical multi-vitamin tablet.

Rotor:  an elixir for nausea inspired by the amusement park ride of the same name.

Placebo:  for no apparent reason this melodic elixir seems work in whatever way is needed.

For Outer Harmony:  long sustained notes for those seeking to project outer calmness even when suffering from great inner turmoil.

Twitch:  A very short miniature whose focal point is a spasmelodic outburst analogous to a muscular twitch.

Modulator:  inspired by magical shape-changing potions, this elixir consists of very fast, loud and dissonant chords that are transformed into soft, consonant chords.

For You:  The ever-returning two-bar melodic theme of this miniature is inspired by the Soul music of the late sixties and early seventies.  This miniature reaches its climax rather quickly through two dramatic increases of tempo.

Tisane-nuits de rêves:  soft, sustained chords, carrying the listener into never-neverland, are interrupted by silences...   ...The Journey...   ...inevitably...   ...continues...