Catagory: Vocal + Ensemble
Instrumentation: Voices (S. M-S., A., T., Bari., B), flute, clarinet in B-flat, and cello
Year of composition: 2021
Duration: ~10 min.
Date: July 18th, 2021
Musicians: Les Métaboles & Ensemble Multilatérale; Léo Warynski - Conductor
Place: Friche la Belle de Mai, Marseille
“I never said she stole your money” is a curious phrase, because it changes its meaning simply by virtue of changing which word is emphasized. So "I never SAID she stole your money" gets a slightly different meaning than "I never said she stole YOUR money". In fact, each word of the phrase can be emphasized to give the sentence a different meaning.
This piece explores the spectrum between music and language.
The English phrase serves as the only text in the piece. However, it is modulated through different emphasis patterns, re-ordering of the words (I said never your money stole she) or the syllables (“Ay neshi ma ver yor sed stolni”), omission of words or syllables, stuttering, and extremely slow pronunciation (to the point meaning is lost). All of these manipulations uncover different expressive means that are cached away in the seemingly ordinary phrase.
The instrumental writing is also informed by the original phrase. The rhythmic surface of the piece is often generated by employing a natural reading and by using the different prosodic emphases (intonation) to affect emphasis in the music. In addition, the acoustic properties of the English phrase (phonemes) are used to relate vocal and instrumental sound qualities to one another. For instance, the sibilant “S” in “said” moves across the voices and the instruments in an interplay with air noise and bow noise. The plosive “t” in “stole” creates in own interplay between the voices in the form of staccato notes, pops, tongue rams, etc.
I Never said she stole your money
Recording of premiere (2021)