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With this work, composed for Zeitgeist, plus the release of "By the Dawn's Early Light" in 1991, I returned to composing music for ensembles. For a decade I made mostly solo albums, sometimes collaborating with other artists, but I found that I was too often not interested in making a statement as much as I was interested in just making an album. This seemed pointless to me; I changed.
I became very attracted to the "suite structure" of Sandro Chia and others (and earlier in Mantegna and Barnett Newman, for example) and saw it as a way of making composition a process of literary discovery as opposed to searching for titles after the fact. (I first used this in 1988 with "The White Arcades".) Thus, for this work, I invented—conjured—at least two dozen "titles", more accurately called fantasies, observations, remembrances, whatever. I selected seventeen and placed them in a sequence that seemed absolutely right to me, that is, charged with arcane connections. The process of composing the music was in fact a process of discovery as I wound my way through maze of cross-references which only made themselves apparent in the process of confronting the hidden agenda in each work, in its placement. A Briefly Glanced Smile seems a recurring motive; number 13 is numbers 6 and 7 played simultaneously, a fact I didn't realize until well after the fact.
1. Breathless… I 1:39
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