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Sketchbook (for the Unbearable Lightness of Being)

By Roger Reynolds

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Voice, piano
Composed by Roger Reynolds (1934-). Modern. Sheet Music. Duration circa 30 minutes. Edition Peters #EP67810. Published by Edition Peters (PE.P67810).

Item Number: PE.P67810

Sketchbook explores three of twelve texts which I drew from Milan Kunderas novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being. The themes treated are: I, The idea of eternal return; II, Seeing ones own I; and III, The unbearable lightness of being. Kunderas tone, his mode of address, is inventively varied. At certain times he gives the reader dialogue alone, at others narrative commentary, even informal philosophical discourse. These may alternate with surprising rapidity. Reflecting on Kunderas craft, it seemed to me that his ability to operate on several levels almost simultaneously (and to do so with such fluidity) would present a intriguing task for a vocalist. It suggested the sort of performance a gifted nightclub entertainer might achieve towards the close of an evening, when defenses are down, formalisms in retreat. What I have done is to conceive a framework within which something this flexible, but perhaps more dimensional, could take place. There is no conscious reference to balladry beyond the convention of the amplified vocalists and a piano at which she can accompany herself. -- Roger Reynolds

Voice and Piano (photoprint: printed on demand).

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