PROJECT | A Complete Wealth of Time - Andrew

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  A Complete Wealth of Time (duration 17') (1989-90), for two pianos was composed while the composer was in France on a Fulbright Scholarship working with Gérard Grisey. The work takes shape as a set of variations on a four-note motive that appears in its clearest form just after an introduction that the composer describes as “noisy.” “The motive is a skeleton,” he writes, “devoid of any particular dress or character of its own. The four notes generate and pass through many different stylistic configurations, progressing from simple to more complex harmonic/rhythmic configurations.” Campion recounts a remarkable dream in explanation of his piano duo’s unusual title and its preoccupation with the fleshing out of motivic “skeletons”: “It was night at the famous Natural History Museum of the Jardin des Plantes in Paris. I found myself in the Great Hall of Time, which displays the march of evolution by way of a fabulous parade of skeletons–with a human one heading the macabre, weirdly homogeneous assembly. I realize that Death is in the room. He wears a French policeman’s uniform and is working as the night-guard for the exhibition. Being young, and realizing that no force could possibly know more about life, I attempt to strike up a conversation. The Grim Reaper cooperated and a lengthy exchange followed. Death informed me that his role as celestial janitor is a restricted one, that organic material is only processed according to guidelines. This seemed comforting and eventually we arrived at a metaphysical question. ‘Is the life that strives in the Romantic sense against hopeless odds and personal limitations a life that has meaning, or is it, in light of Death, an absurd waste of energy–a defunct ego-centric western cultural fallacy?’ Death was coy. He lowered his head and responded in an almost inaudible voice. He might have said ‘it is a complete waste of time,’ but I heard ‘it is a complete wealth of time’.”

Selected Performance History of A Complete Wealth of Time

2004-05 A Complete Wealth of Time, Chang and Ray, March 22, San Francisco

A Complete Wealth of Time, Chang and Ray, Monday Evening Concert Series, LA County Museum

1999-00 A Complete Wealth of Time, Gloria Cheng and Vicki Ray

Cornell University, February

Bucknell University, February

Weis Center for the Performing Arts, February

Syracuse University, February

1996-97 A Complete Wealth of Time, New Millennium Ensemble, Columbia University, November

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