For clarinet, accordion, piano, violin, viola, cello (2002) – 12 minutes
World Premiere: December 2002, ensemble counter)induction, Columbia University
For Matthew Dougherty
Moonlight in the Bottle was written as an interlude to a dance project in progress on the theme of drinking. I have tried to convey something of the simultaneous humor and tragedy that surrounds drinking life, and used a highly polystylistic language to portray the frenetic, multifaceted and even fractured persona of a drinker. An extended quote from Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata repeatedly dissipates as if by distraction, recurring as if suddenly remembered, out of place, in the wrong key or instrument, and soon fading again into distraction. The familiar sounds of the sonata represent the solace that the drinker over and over again seeks in his bottle, but which continuously slips away from him like his last dregs. Loud and jazzy interruptions try to assert a self-assured control, but eventually fade to the permanent, nagging reverberations of addiction.
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