Bill Wells
Pick Up Sticks

By David Gunn

Pick up sticks. Briefly. Let them begin to tap against brick and stone, to combine into forward rhythm. And as they begin to coalesce, let them down, cast them away. begin again. There are too many options here to remain in the same dried furrow. Concision and statement is all that is required.

This is a music concerned with textures of the miniature, with the smallest variations within the given form. This is microscopic music.

Over twenty minutes, two motions become clear:

1. A move towards some definite form, a searching for centre, a music that stops precisely as this is found.

2. A dissolution from initial certainty, a slow mood of abandonment and diffusion, a music searching for its own denial and effacement.

Horn memories recombine. Organs float out like machines in the ghosts and faint whirs haunt air. And as minutes close to ending, something approaching a voice appears – simple and without strut or pose but weighted with half-utterance and denial. You try to connect but already it is shifting, drifting out and falling away. Pick up sticks. Briefly. And as they begin to form let them cast away.
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