Dysmorphia

For viola and cello

In this piece, the viola and cello adopt warped versions of each other’s sonic identities, as if they are different sides of the same brain, looking at and interpreting an object that is invisible/inaudible to the listener but visible/audible to the instrument.

It is an obsessive, distorted world in which every compositional parameter is saturated in the idea of dysmorphia – timbral, harmonic, formal, rhythmic, and dynamic dysmorphia with each parameter frantically searching for the difference between reality and perception: which instrument sees the object as it is, which exaggerates the object, and which denies any hope of a reconciliation that might be reached.

The listening process too can be thought of as dysmorphic as the focus shifts from the inaudible object to other layers of dysmorphia emerging within the interpretation of each instrument’s view of each other. Attempts to understand each other and not just the inaudible object leads to even stranger, deluded mirrors, possibilities of unison, and lines of even more excessive, aggressive and grittier forms of dysmorphia and misunderstanding.

 

Listen: 

Look: Dysmorphia score excerpt