Instrumentation: soprano and ensemble
soprano, flute, clarinet, violin, mandolin, guitar, piano, and percussion
(bass drum, snare drum, 4 woodblocks, suspended cymbal, almglocken, crotale, triangle, ratchet, speaking voice)
Looking-Glass House depicts a scene from the first chapter of Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass in which Alice becomes enthralled with reprimanding her cat for her bad behavior. This soliloquy becomes the platform in which Alice begins her daydreaming revelry that transports her through the other side of the looking glass. I sought to capture some of the playful, yet menacing, qualities of Alice’s interaction with herself by means of her feline companion. Thus the piece meanders through varying moods via unexpected (or sometimes nonexistent) transitions as a way of embodying, in a rhetorical sense, the hallucinatory nature of Carroll’s prose. This work is the first in a cycle of works each with different instrumentation and each based on a different chapter of Carroll’s masterpiece.
Looking-Glass House was premiered on July 23rd, 2009 at the soundSCAPE Festival in Pavia, Italy and featured Tony Arnold (soprano).