My creation of this work for two sopranos and string trio mostly took place on the Creative Dialogue VI in Santa Fe, New Mexico in the summer of 2014.
I chose a well-known text in English that had a connection to the desert location where I would be composing, T.S.Eliot’s The Waste Land from 1922. I analyzed many categories of words in the vast text and reassembled them to form fragmentary T.S.Eliot-derived texts for seven movements and assigned sonic identities to each of the word categories. In the end, the music took a caleidoscopic shape, as described by Magnus Lindberg, the tutoring composer on the workshop.
Among the many figurative sounds in the music to go with the lyrics, I composed for multiphonic flageolets on the string instruments and for whistling multiphonics by the singers.
Some of my sounds on the string instruments were refined with improvements by cellist Anssi Karttunen, who also was responsible for the course together with singer Barbara Hannigan and composer Magnus Lindberg.
During my 8 days’ process composing in Santa Fe, the work already grew to a length of about 15 minutes. For the time limits of the premiere concert (available here) in Santa Fe, only four of the seven movements were performed and the others remain as nearly finished sketches.