Eric Skytterholm Egan | Privacy of Mind

(2013) | Full Score

List of Works


Commissioned by the Roentgen Connection, with the support of the Arts Council Norway

Listening to one and the same piece might give two people very different musical experiences. These may vary only slightly but they may also vary a great deal; perhaps to the extent that some perceive order where others might hear only chaos, or vice versa. However; there are some facets of a piece that will always be heard in a similar way; such include explicit structural devices (that elicit unambiguous cognitive responses) and the use of recognisable stylistic references. These will always pave the way for the listeners’ appreciation of musical coherence in the work.

Privacy of Mind is a reflection on the pane between order and chaos. It combines the familiar with the unexpected to play on the string that holds these two worlds together. I have chosen to actively explore explicit structural devices and musical references precisely because they have such a strong effect on the listener. Ultimately the goal is to both confuse and satisfy your expectations; to shower in a bath of these worms. To show you both these worlds and to allow you to balance on the string between the two. What actually constitutes order and chaos will vary from listener to listener.

Privacy of Mind was inspired by the following quotation from Flann O’Brien’s, At Swim Two Birds:

HAVING placed in my mouth sufficient bread for three minutes' chewing, I withdrew my powers of sensual perception and retired into the privacy of my mind, my eyes and face assuming a vacant and preoccupied expression. I reflected on the subject of my sparetime literary activities. One beginning and one ending for a book was a thing I did not agree with. A good book may have three openings entirely dissimilar and inter-related only in the prescience of the author, or for that matter one hundred times as many endings.

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