Looking back on last night’s concert at Wien Modern and looking forward to tomorrow’s concert at Contempuls, Talea bassoonist talks about learning Olga Neuwirth’s torsion: transparent variation for solo bassoon and ensemble.
When I first received my part to Olga Neuwirth’s torsion: transparent variation for solo bassoon and ensemble, I quickly realized the amount of work that I was going to have to put into learning a plethora of extended techniques and various colors. Before I could say a sentence, even a word, I had to learn how to pronounce syllables in a new musical language. However, once I created my new palette of sounds, I discovered an unprecedented freedom of expression. It wasn’t an etude of new techniques for the bassoon, a realm of composition which many new pieces can accidentally stray into. On the contrary, torsion is a complete and complex musical thought filled with many unique colors on the bassoon that many listeners may not have heard before. The enjoyment of expressing myself through a different musical language, however, was only part of the reward in learning this piece. The responses from individual audience members after my first performance of torsion sparked great conversation over what potential sound worlds the bassoon could create. Preformed boundaries of the bassoon’s capabilities were broken down for many listeners. I thank Olga for writing such a great piece to be added to the bassoon’s limited repertoire. I’m also grateful that we get to perform it two more times in Vienna and Prague and look forward to any conversation in response to torsion from others.