Apophenia V: Outmoded Large Crumbling Oval Lime-Green Midwestern Plastic-Frame Reading Glasses

By James Ilgenfritz

Program Notes

The term apophenia describes humans’ tendency to perceive patterns within randomness. The Apophenia series is a set of compositions that explores the potential for a group of musicians to create coherent narrative from a set of discrete fragments of information. These fragments should be ordered differently in each performance, necessitating different solutions to the problem of creating this continuous narrative.

For Apophenia V, the subtitle Outmoded Large Crumbling Oval Lime-Green Midwestern Plastic-Frame Reading Glasses refers to the order in which English language speakers combine adjectives: opinion-size-age-shape-color-origin-material-purpose. The work is a feature for harp and contrabass, and is structured so that their operations mirror the order in which adjectives appear in a sentence. While the ten pages of composed material should be played in a different order each at each performance, the harpist and bass soloist have a set of improvisation strategies that should be followed in the same order each time, regardless of the order in which the composed material is played. — J.I.