Eric Skytterholm Egan | Riddle Me

(2006) | Full Score

List of Works


I. Riddle me riddle me, randy ro. My father gave me seeds to sow.

II. - Heart of my heart, were it more, More would be laid at your feet.

III. The harlot's cry from street to street Shall weave old England's winding sheet.

IV. White thy fambles, red thy gan And thy quarrons dainty is. Couch a hogshead with me then. In the darkmans clip and kiss.

V. I am the boy That can enjoy Invisibility.

The text for Riddle Me is taken from James Joyce's Ulysses (1922). Each movement sets a short strophe or rhyme taken directly from the narrative, or recalled by the protagonist; the idea was to capture the essence of each of these quotations in the music. I chose to use Joyce's text because he is a particularly important source of inspiration in my music, primarily due to the way in which his later works are composed. The way the author guides the reader between what seem to be loosely connected associative worlds, has become a very important part of the way I view music.

In contrast to Joyce's work, the musical worlds of Riddle Me are anything but disjointed - the material is based entirely on my associations to the text. In addition, the movements are short, contrasting, and follow a clear structure. One might think would distance them greatly from Joyce's approach. However, on closer inspection, the chaos in Joyce's text is primarily restricted to the surface - the inner structure is at least as clearly arranged as the music I have written.


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