By 1945, at the onset of the "New Music" era, there was hardly any truly contemporary teaching literature in existence. Times where composers such as Bach, Schumann or Bartók were providing student-level pieces that were comparatively easy to play, can only be remembered with envy. Not surprisingly, there is still no new learning repertoire for guitar that is remotely equivalent to Brouwer’s "Estudios Sencillos" (begun in 1958), a fact that encouraged me to compose the five pieces at hand.
In the 1960's and 70's, the ethnologist, sexologist and author, Ernest Borneman (1915-1995) recorded numerous verses he heard recited among children on playgrounds, in schools and other places. Many of these verses which he published in three large volumes, are full of double-entendres, lewd allusions and innuendoes; often they are parodies of 'proper' verse. I personally have enjoyed their poetic appeal for many years.
By juxtaposing five of them to one piece of music each, I have achieved a specific interaction between the two aesthetic realms: the composition becomes more concrete or 'physical', whereas the verses expand in duration, thus altering the listener's perception of language and music which seemingly reflect each other. Although the Fünf Verse do contain some descriptive elements, my composition is not intended to be a setting to music, but rather an attempt to explore various new perspectives those of absolute and non-absolute music, of pure vs. musically-enhanced language, or of a combination of these aspects.
translation: Andreas Kühner
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