All tracks copyright 2006 David Wayne Higgins
Hoping Tomorrow Never Arrives
An improv piece recorded New Years Day, 2006. Due to the holidays, I had just spent two wonderful extended weekends with my wife at home. The next day was the day to return back to the normal dirge of everyday life at work. I didn’t want the day to end.
The Sun, The Moon and Talia
I was looking for the right title for weeks. A title to encompass a dream, wonderland, fairy tales and fantasy. I had the composition and theme down to the finish with the sound of an alarm clock awakening the dreamer. I picked up an old book from the shelf that I bought at an antique book store a few years ago. “The Uses of Enchantment” by Bruno Betelheim. I read the section on The Sleeping Beauty and found the story of Sun, Moon and Talia.
Strength Through Joy
A construction piece. The piece is composed of 112 chords played in 1792 measures. The original progression is 28 triads, which become sevenths, which become ninths, and then become all the notes of the key signature. The idea for the basis of the composition is a demonstration of the Nazi Propaganda tool “Strength Through Joy”, developed to keep the workers happier by providing group vacations. The idea was that the workers would be more productive if they were alloted group vacations paid for by the state. It turned into a large bureaucracy that spend more money on itself than on the mission. The musical illustration of the idea is that one is listening to a happy tune which is based on a systematic progression. As time progresses, the chords, signifying the stress to the listener, become a greater weight until the listener is eventually listening to every note, or performing every task. The happy melody becomes an over bloated, unbearable, cacophonic chore. To date, this piece is the longest I’ve worked on. A year after I had completed it, I found software that enabled me to accomplish the original intention.
The Mystique of the Event
The original idea was a sarcastic one. The disgruntled musician, unhappy with the role taken in an ensemble situation. The primary theme in the music as a struggle of a single note to be recognized by the whole of the composition. The single note is forced to be part of the composition, but is unhappy with it’s role. That note not only wishes to be heard, but heard alone in its own. The suppression of the note breeds discontent within itself to the point of making the composition uncomfortable. At the end the challenge is made, and the note is heard. After the note is allowed, the composition returns to its original, but more relaxed state. A piece that symbolizes turning uncomfortable emotions into emotions that bring total contentment with one’s self.
In memory of my father. I plugged in and did an improv in a minor key. I named it “70 Years”, due to the length of time he spent in this worldly existence. One take, one track.