Section 1 & 1a. Live recording from the premiere at Museum Speelklok, Utrecht.
Commissioned by Stichting Conlon (NL) for Gaudeamus Muziekweek, 2011.
ABOUT THE PIECE:
For as long as humans have possessed complete writing, they have also sought ways in which to disguise the meaning of their most important communications from all but its intended recipient. Taking the general idea of the encoding and decoding of written text as a starting point, my piece YAMAHA / ENIGMA utilizes several 'classic techniques' from the world of codes and cryptography and sets them in motion over 14 minutes. Using permutations and rotations, symbols from telegraphy and texts from Sei Shounagon, Augustine of Hippo, Walt Whitman and my own meditation on silent reading, YAMAHA / ENIGMA is actually a rather mysterious love letter to the act of reading itself, the amazing, everyday act of 'decoding' written symbol into sound and meaning, which the linguist Steven Roger Fischer has termed one of human society's 'quiet triumphs'.