Text by Oana Avasilichioaei.
Commissioned by Daniel Cooper/New Music Concerts.
14 Feb 2015, Betty Oliphant Theatre, Toronto ON
Véronique Mathieu, Violin; Stacie Dunlop, Soprano; New Music Concerts
The tradition of oral storytelling is an ancient and intimate ritual between a narrator and audience member. The intimacy and connection exeperienced through this hierarchy is strengthened if the story is shaped to suit the needs of a particular listener. Through story telling one may also experience first hand the immediacy and personal impact of the creative process; as a result one may become empowered with the creative spirit. As a story is passed from person to person, countless retellings may result in numerous alterations of events, or perhaps events may be left out completely. This effect is often augmented if translation from one language to another is to occur. Further, the phsyical attributes of the narrator may also have an influence on how we envision a story in our in minds. As she wrote her book We Beasts the poet Oana Avasilichioaei was inspired by how a collection of texts may be altered, and in turn experienced, in the aforementioned ways. In We Beasts, Oana's text is subject to many transformations. Using various devices, ranging from translation to unique page placement throughout, We Beasts engenders a sense of flexibility of implication in thereader. After reading We Beasts and speaking to Oana about the creative intention behind the book, I was quite enthusiastic to set a selection of this text to my music. I was confident that I could create yet another mode of communicative metamorphosis for those who are to experience Oana's words. I have extracted eight brief selections from We Beasts for this piece. Some of these selections are full poems, others are fragments of poems, all of which I felt were especially suited not only for musical treatment but also for my particular compositional voice. This piece was written especially for violinist Véronique Mathieu and soprano Stacie Dunlop. I would like to dedicate this piece to Mr. Daniel Cooper whose generosity and dedication to Canadian music made this collaboration possible.