Eric Skytterholm Egan | out the Dirty Window

(2014) | Full Score

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This piece is intended as an abstract reflection on Charles Bukowski's temper and imagination. There is a clear rough edge to the material; it is raw, vicious, and uncompromising. At the same time it is reflected, even meditative, and gentle. The great author's life consisted largely of cycles of excess and regret. Regular periods indulgence (alcohol, women, fights) were matched by interludes of contemplation (writing, tenderness, cats). At the same time there is a great sense of timelessness and a man's interaction with, and place in, history. The writer in the gutter is a direct descendant from the no-nonsense wordsmiths of the past - Tolstoy in particular. Bukowski was also very good at linking his older self with the enthusiasm of his youth. However, this image if his past self is undoubtedly marred by missed opportunities and paths only partially taken, inevitably leading back, with fervour, to the same beautiful cycle of child-like enthusiasm and disappointment.

The piece is loosely based in the following quotation from Notes of a Dirty Old Man:

I finally managed to ask one of them where the Village was and when I got to the Village I found a room and when I opened my wine bottle and took off my shoes I found that the room had an easel, but I wasn't a painter, just a kid looking for luck, and I sat behind the easel and drank my wine and looked out the dirty window.

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