Finite Jest


In David Foster Wallace's (one of my favorite writers) magnum opus "Infinite Jest" one finds the following text: The American Century as Seen Through a Brick. Year of the Whopper. Latrodectus Mactans Productions. Documentary cast w/ narration by P. A. Heaven; 35 mm.; 52 minutes; color w/ red filter and oscillophotography; silent w/ narration. As U.S. Boston's historical Back Bay streets are stripped of brick and repaved with polymerized cement, the resultant career of one stripped brick is followed, from found-art temporary installation to displacement by E.W.D. catapult to a waste-quarry in southern Québec to its use in the F.L.Q.-incited anti-O.N.A.N. riots of January/Whopper, all intercut with ambiguous shots of a human thumb's alterations in the interference pattern of a plucked string. PRIVATELY RELEASED ON MAGNETIC VIDEO BY LATRODECTUS MACTANS PRODUCTIONS What an inspiration, what an esprit - just in a footnote, just in a list of realized films. This passage did not disappear from my mind for years. While I was intimidated to write vocal music over more than two decades, now and within one year three works are coming into being: "Finite Jest" für soprano and flute, "Esė apie vandenis" for baritone solo, and "Meer – mehr Wasser" für amateur choir. Following a suggestion by Shanna Guiterrez to compose something for her duo with Frauke Aulbert this new piece (written in summer 2014) definitely belongs to the humoristic style. I thank them both for giving the première. Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf

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