Theft
for clarinet, violin, violoncello, piano, and percussion

Jocelyn Morlock
Composition Date: 2009
Duration: 00:11:00
Genre: Mixed Chamber Ensembles (1 to 9 Performers), Quintets, Woodwind(s) / Percussion, Keyboard(s) / Bowed String(s)

Instrumentation:

Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 1 x Clarinet
  • 1 x Percussion
  • 1 x Piano
  • 1 x Violin
  • 1 x Violoncello
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Programme Note:
"In the meantime, through an oversight that José Arcadio Buendía never forgave himself for, the candy animals made in the house were still being sold in the town. Children and adults sucked with delight on the delicious little green roosters of insomnia, the exquisite pink fish of insomnia, and the tender yellow ponies of insomnia, so that dawn on Monday found the whole town awake." - - One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez

One Hundred Years of Solitude epitomizes Magic Realism, or ‘what happens when a highly detailed, realistic setting is invaded by something too strange to believe.’ Certainly, a town full of candy-munching insomniacs qualifies.
But when Franz Roh first invented the phrase in 1925, the meaning was quite different than it is today. Roh’s definition, applied initially to a new stream of representative visual art, suggested that any mundane object can appear fantastic and bizarre if we truly look at it. I believe this is the way children see the world; in fact, I recall experiencing my own variety of Magic Realism the first time I saw an egg-beater.
Regarding musical representations of Magic Realism, Theft turns out to be something of a combination of the definitions. The initial inspirations for the piece were two arresting images found in One Hundred Years of Solitude: the insomnia-ridden town, and the “water-clock secrets of the moths.”
In Márquez’s novel, we never find out what the moths’ secrets are, and this mystery intrigued me. Moths continue to mystify the scientific world; despite careful observation, no one knows why moths are obsessively drawn to light. The moths are an enigmatic lot. The water clocks continue their inexorable theft of water and time, unchanged and unchangeable whilst the disturbed, possibly malevolent fluttering continues.
Insomnia, on the other hand, has a manic quality loosely based on the feeling of panic/fascination that ensues when you hear the birds start to sing loudly in the morning after you’ve been up all night. Much as I love birds, hearing them at that hour and in that mind-set they seem surreal and alternately evil/hilarious, as does much of the world if you’re sufficiently sleep-deprived, or following the recent machinations of the BC government. Weird cross-rhythms, abrupt shifts of mood, and extremes of register contribute to the general freakishness.

Other things you might find pleasing to know: We owe the modern definition of Magic Realism as “...too strange...” to Carl Strecher.
Water clocks are Klepsydrae, literally water-thieves. Long periods of insomnia will rob you of both sleep and sanity, and eventually will kill you. You should really get more sleep.

Commissioned by: Standing Wave

Premiere Information:
11/10/2009, Vancouver East Cultural Center (The Cultch), Vancouver, BC Standing Wave Ensemble - A.K. Coope, clarinet; Rebecca Whitling, violin; Peggy Lee, cello; Allen Stiles, piano; Vern Griffiths, percussion.

CATALOGUE INFO:

  • Call Number:
  • MI 8555 M865th
  • Genre:
  • Mixed Chamber Ensembles (1 to 9 Performers), Quintets, Woodwind(s) / Percussion, Keyboard(s) / Bowed String(s)
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • April 13, 2011
  • Type:
  • Print-music, Published by CMC
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score (31 p.) ;
    31 Pages
    Height: 28 cm
    Width: 22 cm
    Parts page count: 25
    4 parts ((25) p.) ;
    Height: 28 cm
    Width: 22 cm
  • Additional Information:
  • clarinet, violin, violoncello, piano, percussion (1 player)
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Theft for clarinet, violin, violoncello, piano, and percussion by Jocelyn Morlock (Score)
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Theft for clarinet, violin, violoncello, piano, and percussion by Jocelyn Morlock (Score and Parts)
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Theft for Clarinet, Violin, Violoncello, Piano, and Percussion: Score and Parts
Score and Parts
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Theft for Clarinet, Violin, Violoncello, Piano, and Percussion: Score
Score
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Theft for clarinet, violin, violoncello, piano, and percussion
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