Enmîmés sont les gougebosqueux


chamber ensemble of 5 players
Mixed Chamber Ensemble
fl.2 cl - vla.vlc
First Performance
27.5.2012, St Magnus Festival, Kirkwall, Orkney, UK: Gemini/Hyun-Jin Yun

Score and parts on special sale from the Hire Library

Programme Notes

Il brilgue: les tôves lubricilleux Se gyrent en vrillant dans le guave. Enmîmés sont les gougebosqueux Et le mômerade horsgrave. Frank L. Warrin (after Lewis Carroll) I often find it difficult to come up with titles for pieces – having conceived them in an essentially abstract way, it feels strange to tie them to some piece of art, science or literature from the ‘real world’. When I was doing my usual routine of trawling books and the internet to find a cultural reference that might have a tenuous relation to the way this piece was turning out, I came across Frank Warrin’s French translation of Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky. Jabberwocky is of course filled with nonexistent words that somehow conjure up a strong (if imprecise) sense of meaning and significance. The translation, Le Jaseroque, is thus a translation of a made-up language – masterfully preserving the semantic sense of its nonsense English counterpart. ‘Enmîmés sont les gougebosqueux‘ is a translation of ‘All mimsy were the borogroves‘. It struck me that as composers, it is as if we are operating with a made-up language – none of our material has any objective ‘sense’ or meaning, but in the listener it conjures strong mental and sensual responses – responses that are fuzzily indescribable yet clear and intoxicating. My piece (like most of my other ones) is therefore merely eight minutes of sound and play – like a made-up language a few translations down the line, I hope that the nonsense herein makes some strange and beautiful sense to the listener.

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