Instrumentation: Fl., Ob. Cl., Perc., Pno., Vln I., Vln II., Vla., Vlc
Year of composition: 2018
Duration: ~20 min.
Commissioned by Dan Yuhas for The Israel Contemporary Players
Date: March 24th 2018
Musicians: Israel Contemporary Players:
Yuval Zorn - Conductor
Michal Tikotzki - Flute
Hila Tsabari - Oboe
Danny Erdman - Clarinet
Daniel Solomonov - Percussion
Ido Akov- Piano
Yael Barolsky & Yonit Amitai - Violins
Miri Menasherov - Viola
Shira Mani - Violoncello
Place: Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel
Madness is a social construct that has known many definitions through-out history. The concept of madness is unique in western medicine such that its very definition is depended upon politics and social norms. For instance, at a not so distant point in history, homosexuality was regarded as a mental illness, and not much before that, women who had a “tendency to cause trouble” were diagnosed with hysteria.
The good news is that as time went by, history got rid of many "mental illnesses" that today we treat their very categorization as offensive and unethical. The bad news is that we also invented quite a few new mental disorders that didn’t “exist” even 20 years ago.
And it’s not over. It’s not unlikely that our children’s children or their children will be born into a world where eating meat is as insane an act as cannibalism, or a world where any religious believer is considered delusional, or even a world where people value their physical assets so much that the very act of giving to charity is considered wildly deranged.
The grey line of mental disease is a fascinating one. When does sadness turn into depression? Where does worry turn into anxiety? How does passion turn into obsession? And when does faith turn into delusion?
Writing this piece has forced me to explore this grey line between sanity and madness within myself. To my dismay, I discovered that crossing this line (at least in one direction) is a lot easier than we dare to realize.
In this piece I seek to play with the grey line of our own perception.
In a sense, this is a tone poem. A poem written by the World Health Organization (WHO) titled “International Classification of Diseases (revision 10)” and within it, I focus on chapter 5: “Mental and behavioral disorders”.
This piece presents the listener with 3 case studies of 3 patients (movements), each with their own set of symptoms. Some of the symptoms may repeat for different patients, some may have different manifestations or different levels of severity.
Each of the patients has been diagnosed with at least one disorder described in chapter 5.
ICd-10 chapter V:
Mental and behavioral disorders
Case Study I:
Case Study II:
Case Study III:
The piece was broadcast live from the Jerusalem Music Center on March 25th 2018 for 'Kol Hamusica' radio station in Israel. The video scores above were made from that recording.
The full broadcast including an interview with the composer (in Hebrew) is available here: https://www.kan.org.il/Radio/item.aspx?pid=27250