...brain ablaze ... she howled aloud
by Roger Reynolds
1, 2 or 3 Piccolos, computer processed sound, and real time spatialization
Liner notes by Roger Reynolds
Primary Artist(s): John Fonville, Anne La Berge, Rachel Rudich
Label: Einstein Records EIN 021
Dates of recording: 1993
Recording engineering: Josef Kucera
...brain ablaze... is a component of the full-evening music theater work, ILLUSION (commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic for the the Walt Disney Concert Hall). It arises out of the extremity of Cassandra's circumstance. Torn by her Dionysian possession, she slips back and forth between prophetic ecstasy and a mere lucid engagement with her real-world circumstances. To address her fragmented and perilous condition, I decided to musically manifest a text distilled from her role in my libretto.
Cassandra's multivalence is suggested by three constrasted musical materials which occupy characteristic registers, and take place at different tempi. Her potential for inhabiting different mental or psychological “spaces” is expanded by computer processed sound (spatialized across 6 channels) and by the optional use of real-time computer spatialization.
...brain ablaze... is represented here as a three-layered design that can be realized differently, depending upon the performance situation. If one or two piccoloists were performing it, the contrasted materials would be distributed between them in differing ways that are specified in the score. The performer(s) have some improvisatory license, not with regard to materials themselves, but rather the way in which a given element is manifested and the attitude taken toward its delivery.
– from the liner notes