Chance Encounter Blog

serendipity and schizophrenia

one of the consequences of this itinerant existence at the moment is that sometimes my other blog takes over when i'm in boston. there are some cross-fertilizations between these two things of course. the bmop blog is all about my activities as composer-in-residence with the boston modern orchestra project, and this blog is a record of my research and creative process for 'chance encounter.' but of course these trips back and forth between nyc & boston provide so much of the fodder for this piece, even though i do interrupt my actual composing work on 'chance encounter' while i am there.

these interruptions are necessary because i'm writing short pieces (one for each week i spend in boston) for the bmop players - called 'synopses' - and i've decided to give each of them a six-word subtitle. the most recent one is 'i think we should tell her' for solo flute. yes, i overheard that, on the red line in boston. it could be either sinister or kind, yes? i couldn't tell which, in the moment.

in keeping with the idea of collected/collective texts, my friend robert kirzinger recommended david markson's 'this is not a novel' to me. although i am finding markson's obsession with Deaths of Artists slightly macabre, and his obsession with the Regard (or lack thereof) of Artists for Each Other decidedly anxiety-ridden in a harold bloomian sense, i am nonetheless enjoying it very much. i sometimes wonder if, because i am a woman and, moreover, a composer (there has been a longer and more celebrated tradition of women novelists, historically, than women composers), i don't feel so much of this kind of anxiety about self-assessment in comparison to and/or in context of other artists, in my own time and others. or is it generational?

in any case, the things i am really enjoying are moments like these, in which markson 'finds' poetic tension in sheer historical data:

"At least two people were drowned in the Seine because of the crush along the route of Victor Hugo's funeral."