Composition for alto saxophone and electronics by Lee Weisert. Matthew McClure, saxophone.
Included on the CD "Wild Arc" - New Focus Recordings, 2014.
"Any thing that Is strang" is a composition for alto saxophone with electronic accompaniment. Elements of the composition were inspired by the following excerpt from a letter written in 1625 by the English botanist Tradescant the Elder, in which he describes the types of objects to be included in a museum he was building for his patron the Duke of Buckingham:
"...on Ellophants head with the teeth In it very large, on River horsses head of the Bigest kind that can be gotton,
on Seabulles head withe horns. All sorts of Serpents and Snakes Skines & Espetially of that sort that hathe a Combe on his head Lyke a Cock. All sorts of Shining Stones or of Any Strange Shapes. Any thing that Is strang."
I tried to emulate Tradescant's fascination with the beautifully bizarre by creating a kind of musical Wunderkammer. Chords and gestures that sounded "correct" and "natural" were discarded in favor of those that leaned too heavily in one direction or the other. Juxtapositions are preferred over transitions, superficial relationships over intrinsic ones. The electronics component consists solely of recordings of an alto saxophone, performed primarily by Matthew McClure, for whom the piece was written. The diverse timbral range of the instrument is displayed in the layered multiphonics, microtonal tunings, stuttering reed squeaks, and clouds of key clicks.