Faculty Recording: “The Space Between Us”
Akropolis Reed Quintet
Refraction, composed by David Biedenbender
Refraction was commissioned by the Akropolis Reed Quintet. Refraction is split into three distinct movements, each inspired by different musical sources that have been bent and distorted by time, space, and my imagination, much like light is bent as it enters a medium of different density. The first movement comes from a short, ridiculous, and awesome YouTube video called “Death Metal Chicken,” which features a chicken screaming over a death metal band (of course!). The second movement is called “Kyrie” and is dedicated to Guillaume de Machaut and Arvo Pärt. The third movement is called “Goat Rodeo” and is a strange mash-up of dubstep, funk, and musical pointillism, inspired by a goat rodeo, which is a slang term for a chaotic situation, often one that involves several people, each with a different agenda/vision/perception of what’s going on; a situation that is very difficult, despite energy and efforts, in which to instill any sense or order.
Additional CDs with Biedenbender works:
H2 Saxophone Quartet
you’ve been talking in your sleep composed by David Biedenbender
I am fascinated by sleep and dreams and, consequently, the incredibly weird and bizarre thoughts, ideas, experiences, and sounds that come out of this seemingly inactive and tranquil aspect of human existence. For instance, while working late at night, I frequently hear my wife talking aloud, presumably either to me or to something or someone with whom she is interacting in her dreams. The language is neither English nor gibberish and contains familiar words and sounds but is completely incomprehensible to me. I often imagine what it would be like to talk with her while she sleeps and experience what she experiences, but alas, I am awake and she is asleep—there is a veil of consciousness between us. For this piece, I imagined a musical language that is a sort of synthesis of both the clarity and compete nonsense of this surreal language—a kind of dialogue between the conscious self and the sleeping self. you’ve been talking in your sleep was commissioned by the PRISM Quartet.
Blue Griffin Recordings
PubliQuartet string quartet
Surface Tension composed by David Biedenbender
I am often inspired by the fleeting moments of consciousness as I fall asleep, a space that lies between the real and the surreal, between waking and dreaming. As I lay in bed one evening, I began to imagine a glass of water, filled to the brim, with the water rising slightly over the top, surface tension preventing it from spilling over. I picked up the glass and began to toss it up and down, yet the water remained intact, held together by a strange force. I then pulled the water out of the glass with my fingers and tossed the droplets into the air. As if in slow motion, some droplets fell to the ground and bounced like metal beads, others shattered like fragile glass, some fell upward and outward toward the ceiling and the walls, and yet others simply floated perpetually in midair, refusing to fall at all. In writing Surface Tension, I wanted to capture the imagery and surreality of this dream, stretching time, objects, and spaces in the same way that was possible only in that dream-space.
Concert Artists Guild Recordings