"Aphorism 9" (2013) by Andrew Paul Jackson for bass clarinet and marimba in two movements. Written for Transient Canvas.

 

The Aphorisms series is a collection of short pieces for unique duet combinations that are each paired with an aphorism from Friedrich Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil.

Aphorism 9 is an abstract rumination on Nietzsche’s aphorism, “The voice of disappointment: ‘I listened for an echo and heard nothing but applause—’” in two distinct movements. The first is exclusively concerned with the first half of the aphorism, I listened for an echo. This sentiment is represented musically through a simple dialogue that grows in complexity, moving from overlapping statements to an echo that increasingly becomes more independent from its originator. The image I kept in mind was that of exploring a cave, something I did a great deal as a kid.

The second movement represents the last half of the aphorism, and heard nothing but applause. In this movement, I represented the applause the way we’ve come to know it in a concert setting, as bookends to each performance. Likewise, the musical opening and closing of the movement are energetic and rhythmically propulsive. The more elegiac middle section is a very succinct rephrasing of the echo we were listening for in the first movement, this time wholly unfulfilled. The fact that the musical applause that opens and closes the movement are identical is indicative of the fact that the statement presented in the middle section has been completely misunderstood. In this way, the search for an "other", which Nietzsche represented in a metaphorical echo, is unfulfilled but, as a conciliation perhaps, warmly received just the same.

 

ANDREW PAUL JACKSON (B. 1984) is a composer and sound designer with an eclectic style and a “confident compositional voice” (Examiner), whose music has been described as a “maze of sound” (Boston Musical Intelligencer). Hiscompositions run the gamut of genres from short solo instrumental works to larger Pierrot and orchestral ensembles, a vocal cantata, and his first opera, Grigori Efimovich: The Memory of Liars. In recognition of his work as a composer, Jackson was the winner of The Boston Conservatory’s 2008-2009 Orchestral Composition Competition and was the recipient of the conservatory’s 2009 Roger Sessions Memorial Composition Award. Jackson served as the composer in residence for The Arizona Pro Arte Ensemble during 2012-2013 season and founded and served as the artistic director of The Fifth Floor Collective, a Boston area consortium of composers and performers, for five seasons.

Born in Springfield, Missouri, Andrew began studying cello and guitar at the age of eleven and started composing shortly thereafter. He has worked regionally in the Midwest as a conductor for the Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra, The Messiah Project of the Ozarks, and Vandivort Center Theatre. He was asked to write the program notes for the Springfield Symphony’s 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 seasons and was honored for two consecutive years for his contribution to the Drury University orchestra. In 2007, Jackson was chosen by the DSCH Journal to write three articles concerning Dmitri Shostakovich’s Opus 87 24 Preludes and Fugues for publication.

Jackson’s compositions have been performed by The Equilibrium Concert Series, The Juventas Ensemble, the Xanthos Ensemble, The Boston Chamber Orchestra, The Moscow Chamber Orchestra, ensemble21, The Vancouver International Song Institute, The Scottsdale Baroque Orchestra, The Boston Conservatory Orchestra, Arizona Pro Arte Ensemble, and The Springfield Symphony and have been broadcasted on KSMU radio. He has studied composition with Andy Vores, Dalit Warshaw, and Carlyle Sharpe, as well as conducting under the tutelage of Christopher Koch and David Goza. Jackson holds an MM in Composition from The Boston Conservatory and a BA in Music Theory and Composition from Drury University.