Tina Tallon (b. 1990) “Sphinx” (2013)
Performed by American soprano and new music specialist Tony Arnold, and bass clarinetist Michael Norsworthy.
The riddle of the Sphinx (“What walks on four legs in the morning, two at noon, and three in the evening?”) forces us to face a lot of aspects of the human life cycle, with all of its joys, fears, expectations, and eventualities. This piece uses the tale of the Sphinx (which would strangle its prey, should he/she answer the riddle incorrectly), as a backdrop for some of the frustrations experienced while fighting aspects of Life’s inevitable trajectory. The text consists of words combined not in a proper grammatical sense, but rather words that together, when deconstructed and recombined, attempt to paint a picture in the mind of the listener, similar to the way in which snatches of memories from dreams allow the dreamer to approximate and reconstruct their dream upon waking
– Tina Tallon
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