Friday, September 1, 2023

"Wiggling Jellies of Light" for Tuba

"Wiggling Jellies of Light" 

for Tuba

Bil Smith Composer

In "Wiggling Jellies of Light," a composition for Tuba, we find within its score a narrative that resonates with the philosophical undercurrents of our time, echoing the ideas of post-humanism and the tantalizing concept of the Tubaist as the 'Over-Man.'

The score spins a tale of magical realism, where the ordinary and the extraordinary coexisted. At its heart lies the profound realization that we, the "last men" of humanity, lay the very groundwork for our own inevitable extinction. Yet, within this somber revelation, there is a twist—a scientific-technological twist.

In our age of unprecedented scientific and technological advancement, the Tubaist stands at the precipice of a paradigm shift. He is no longer the master and possessor of nature; instead, he has become the architect of his own surprise. This surprise, the contingent and non-planned emergence, forms the cornerstone of our post-humanist compositional journey.

Within the confines of the single page, the score unfolds like a cryptic manuscript where the visual machinations of symbology and iconography take center stage, imbuing the composition with a layered and enigmatic narrative.

At first glance, the score appears as a tapestry of unfaniliar shapes and symbols, reminiscent of the works of Hans Arp, where organic forms blend seamlessly with geometric precision. These visual elements are not arbitrary; instead, they serve as the composer's lexicon, a secret language that guides the musician through the labyrinthine passages of the composition.

Symbols and glyphs, reminiscent of ancient scripts or extraterrestrial communication, pepper the score. Each symbol holds a unique meaning, a code that unlocks a particular emotional or sonic dimension.

No longer does the Tubaist seek domination; instead, he courts surprise. In the confines of this score, he shifts from an attitude of mastery to one of exploration and experimentation.

In "Wiggling Jellies of Light," the Tuba becomes the vessel through which this exploration is articulated. The musician, much like the engineer of tomorrow, is not a sorcerer's apprentice due to negligence or ignorance but by choice. The music delves into complex visualism and notational structures and organizations, seeking to uncover their functional properties. It is a bottom-up approach, an ascent into the unknown.

The success of this work lies not in the conformity to pre-established tasks but in the extent to which the composition surprises both the musician and the audience. It is a testament to the transformative power of art, reflecting the very ethos of post-humanism—the embrace of the unexpected, the relinquishing of mastery for the allure of discovery.

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