Indifference - (2010)
medium or low voice and piano
loopsy links the canker crawls,
Tads twiddle in their 'polian gleee,
Yet sinks my heart as water falls,
The loon that laughs, the babe that bawls,
The wedding wear, the funeral palls,
Are neither here nor there to me.
Of life the mingled wine and brine
I sit and sip pipslipsily.
pages, circa 1' 35" ]
Whirly Art by Douglas Hofstadter
anonymous text is cited in Metamathematical Themas: Questing for the
Essence of Mind and Pattern, Douglas R. Hofstadter (Basic Books,
New York, 1985), in a chapter titled "Stuff and Nonsense," p. 214. I had
picked up the book again for fun while during this summer vacation.
Rereading it after so many years, Hofstadter's survey of so many themes
still delights me. My interest in so-called nonsense verse in particular
includes many texts in both English and German which I have chosen to set to
music, for nonsense is such a part of us and our human culture.
indifference of the musical setting is its very tonal C major vocal line,
under which a set of chords move in relations of fifths as if following
backwards that so-called "circle" while underneath a simple and absolutely
chromatic bass line rises and later falls without great regard to the vocal
line's tonality -- except that it all works out as a puzzle might.
many "cankers" of life having been surveyed by the text, the combination of
"wine and brine" is characterized by the flowing of sextuplets, wholly in
the diatonic major in contradistinction to the great chromaticism of the
first section. A short recap of the chromaticism and simple cadence ends
this short setting, tongue firmly in one's cheek.
The score for
Indifference is available as a free PDF download, though any major
commercial performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior
arrangement with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this