Sketches from an Attic Trunk: Suite for Ten Players

                  Metaphorically speaking, an attic seems an apt enough trope for the human brain. When I set out to write 'Sketches from an Attic Trunk (not its working title) I had only a vague idea of composing a few instrumental miniatures, improvisational in character, whose 'contents' would be free of editing of any kind. In other words, as a form of mental house cleaning, I would notate every idea that came to me whether original or not, in the order in which they came! Procedurally, this might be called 'stream of consciousness' composition. Naturally, such a precarious approach runs the risk of crossing over the 'line' into - horror of horrors - parody and pastiche, not to mention the attendant perils of structural weaknesses. The attentive listener will certainly hear dozens of musical quotations throughout 'Sketches from an Attic Trunk.'

                  For many years, I have felt the unwritten dictum of Western culture to be 'original' in the dubious pursuit of the creation of 'masterpieces' presents both a false and misleading goal. Needless to say, such pipe dreams are virtually impossible to achieve. Certainly, they are over prized. Unfortunately, they are also a double-edged hoax that creative artists still swallow whole-hog to this day. Well, in 'Sketches from an Attic Trunk' I was having none of that. I have no truck with 'breaking new ground,' 'expanding boundaries,' 'pushing envelopes,' or any other similarly naive ideological slogans. Since my compositional tendency is to through-compose anyway (of course with a reasonable level of editing at play!), it seemed a logical step to throw caution to the wind and willfully ignore those ever-present internal editors and censors, to have fun, and hopefully be as surprised at the outcome as I hope the listener would be. From my end, I have succeeded.

Richard White

March, 2007