Michael Edwards

flung me, foot trod

Programme Note

flung me, foot trod takes its title from the Gerard Manley Hopkins sonnet, Carrion Comfort. This is urgent, violent, exciting poetry, but it was not until I read some of Hopkins' own notes to the verse that I felt particularly drawn to pilfering a title from him. He writes of one word, "rude", that must be enunciated with force, "in an uncouth, violent, barbarous manner". This, if anything, summarises the articulation necessary to interpret my piece.

In preparing the tape I sampled selected portions of the solo part. In particular I concentrated on some of the more unorthodox sounds an alto saxophone can make, key clicks, breath noise, growling etc. For demonstrating these sounds I am very grateful to Gary Scavone who gave freely of his time and tolerated my often outlandish requests. Indeed, the whole piece is aimed at utilising his slick virtuosity. Armed with these samples, it was my intention to create sounds that go far beyond the timbral qualities of the saxophone. Although the tape sometimes presents recognisable saxophone sounds, on the whole it is in its own sonic realm, marrying itself with the solo part only in its presentation of similar material types (driving rhythms, scurrying textures etc.). It was not my intention to create the effect of an "orchestra of saxophones", or to have the saxophone play against itself on tape. On the contrary, flung me, foot trod takes its precedent more from the solo concerto, pitting two unequal forces against each other, their only common ground being material and, hence, structure.

On the more technical side, the samples were processed using Bill Schottstaedt's "Common Lisp Music", the note lists were created with Heinrich Taube's "Common Music", and the mixing was accomplished with Paul Lansky's "Real Time Mixer" application--all on the NeXT computer.