I spoke to no one...
for chamber ensemble

James Hiscott
Composer
James Hiscott
Composition Date: 2009
Genre: Orchestra / Large Ensembles, Chamber Orchestra (10 to 20)

Instrumentation:

Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 1 x Flute
  • 1 x Clarinet
  • 1 x Saxophone
  • 1 x Trumpet
  • 1 x Guitar
  • 1 x Piano
  • 2 x Violin
  • 1 x Viola
  • 1 x Double bass
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Programme Note:
I spoke to no one..., began after a trip in 2007 to Trieste, the North-East Italian city where James Joyce was living when he began Ulysses. The city reminded me in places of the Georgian architecture of Dublin, where Ulysses is set; so it was interesting to think of Joyce imagining the city from which he had exiled himself from this faraway place. The title of the music refers to a line from Joyce's Proteus chapter in Ulysses, and also to the story of the Cyclops. Odysseus fools the Cyclops by calling himself "Nobody"; so later when the monster is calling his Cyclops friends to help him avenge himself on the hero, they shrug it off-- since Nobody had hurt him, it must be an act of the gods. The citizens of Trieste have referred to themselves as "residents of nowhere", because they have been fought over for the past century by three nations-- Austria, Slovenia, and Italy. When Joyce lived there, they were citizens of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Slovenes by ethnic background, and sympathizers with the Italian Risorgimento (as a way of freeing themselves from Austrian rule). Leopold Bloom in Joyce's Ulysses is an outsider, a Jewish man of Irish birth whose father came from Hungary. He is the victim of marginalization by the anti-Semitism of "the citizen" and others. In the Cyclops chapter he is the "Nobody" who gets in his best jabs at his antagonist, the Citizen, as he is leaving the pub in a horse-drawn carriage-- like Ulysses' taunts as he departs in his ship after having blinded Polyphemus. There is an influence of Irish traditional music as well as other styles; the guitar is a sometime representative of Italian Trieste.

Premiere Information:
12/05/2009 The Winnipeg Art Gallery Winnipeg, Manitoba The GroundSwell Chamber Ensemble: Laurel Ridd, flute Micah Heilbrunn, clarinet Allen Harrington, saxophone Brian Sykora, trumpet Dustin Wiebe, guitar Donna Laube, piano Karl Stobbe, violin Mary Lawton, violin Elisse Lavallée, viola Bruce Okrainec, bass Conductor: Earl Stafford

CATALOGUE INFO:

  • Call Number:
  • MI 1200 H673is
  • Genre:
  • Orchestra / Large Ensembles, Chamber Orchestra (10 to 20)
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • January 5, 2010
  • Type:
  • Print-music, Published by CMC
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score ((2), 51 p.) ; 28 cm.
    53 Pages
    Height: 28 cm
    Width: 22 cm
    Parts page count: 65
    10 parts ((65) p.) ;
    Height: 28 cm
    Width: 22 cm
  • Additional Information:
  • flute, clarinet (B-flat), alto saxophone, trumpet (B-flat), guitar, piano, two violins, viola, double bass.
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