IT LOOKS LIKE THE ENDING (2015)

"Are you pretending? It looks like the ending, unless I can have one more chance to prove, dear. My life a hell you're making. You know I'm yours for just the taking. I'd gladly surrender myself to you, body and soul.” - an excerpt from Body and Soul (1930): music by Johnny Green, lyrics by Heyman, Sour & Eaton

This short work comes from a 30-second recorded fragment of Thelonious Monk improvising on the bridge of Body and Soul on 31 October 1962. The rhythm of the recording was microtimed to the level of the millisecond, elongated proportionally, transcribed, and finally "composed over". Against the slow unfolding, the marimba's fast oscillations are inspired by Monk's stride pattern, sped up. The bass clarinet picks out and smears individual lines. The original Monk fragment is from "Remake Take 3", recorded at CBS's 30th Street Studio in New York City, and released in 1998 on the Columbia/Legacy CD Monk Alone: The Complete Columbia Solo Studio Recordings 1962-1968. At the very end of the piece, the music briefly reverts to the original speed of Monk's playing. It looks like the ending.

            - Richard Beaudoin

 

"It looks like the ending" (2015) for bass clarinet & marimba. Written for Transient Canvas. Live performance March 19, 2016 at Third Life Studios in Somerville, MA.

 

American composer Richard Beaudoin is the architect of the microtiming technique. Iconic recordings are slowed down and transcribed in minute detail, then treated as a palimpsest, forming a parchment over which the composer manipulates, reorganises and interweaves original material to create innovative compositions of startling beauty and originality.
Born 10 October 1975 in North Attleborough, Massachusetts. Early studies at Amherst College, performed and coached chamber music at Greenwood Music Camp. Withdrew from college and moved to London to study privately with Michael Finnissy. Returned to Amherst College and in 1998 completed Bachelor's degree, summa cum laude. At 23, became a fellow at the MacDowell Colony.
Moved to London to attend the Royal Academy of Music, earning an MMus in Composition in 2002, then returned to America and worked in a violin-maker's shop. In 2005, while working on a PhD in composition and theory at Brandeis University, was invited to be the Joseph E. and Grace W. Visiting Professor of Music at Amherst College. Completed the PhD at Brandeis in 2008.
Taught at Harvard University for eight years [2008–2016] as faculty member in composition and analysis. For 2016–2017 holds the posts of Lecturer at Brandeis University and Visiting Research Fellow in Composition at the Royal Academy of Music, London.