Mantis found Arrhodes just before he took his last breath. She tucked his body in, and so they lay, through the two days of the blizzard, "and on the third day, the sun came up”. By the way, that last phrase is weird. Where was the sun for these two days? Only behind the clouds? The definition of the day refers only to the movement of celestial bodies, regardless of the weather. I suspect it refers to the very first sentence of the story, “in the beginning there was darkness”. In the Bible’s Genesis , the rhythm of the subsequent days does not depend on the Earth’s rotations, but involves all of creation. A day is not 24 hours, nor a full diurnal cycle (alternating brightness and darkness does not begin until one of the later days) but a figure of convention that means a period of time that can be grasped, understood. So what I see here is a link and a deeper, somehow perverse reference to the myth of the beginning. But how to understand it exactly – that I do not know.
Anyway, it is now finished. The composition is a little over half an hour long, it has one part, divided into several sections. I think it is quite demanding, especially for a soloist... but Asia Freszel can accomplish greater things with her voice. And she will be accompanied, it seems, by Klangforum Wien. Where and when, I do not know yet. The final title: lo firgai. That's the Lojban term for a mask, meaning a covering of the face.
I did not write much about music this time, there were only few examples of the score. So now the entire thing, from bird’s eye view:
And here’s the final text in English:
There was darkness.
And who was I?
I was moving?
a volitional entity
I am / me
I opened my eyes, I smiled
I moved forward,
and her dresses moved with me
This was the court ball.
There opened up a corridor,
that I might walk like some Queen
down the path through people
At the foot of a marble statue stood a man shorter than the rest.
For he was the king.
And who was I?
Passing him I stopped as if I wished to curtsy low to him.
He did not deign to look upon me. He was the King.
And who was I?
But what could he want of me,
But to where was I walking thus?
And then this stranger looked at me
just as utterly alone as I
He rose and came towards me.
Two steps and he stopped… he stopped
I let slip from my wrist the little loop of my fan.
For it to fall.
‘Madam’, he said, ‘Your fan…’
‘Sir’, I said, ‘must I drop it again?’ And I smiled.
And he was silent.
He did not know what to say.
I smiled and he was silent.
Oh, it was a passionate love, tender
and altogether ordinary. Very great, it caused me to tremble,
it quickened my pulse. And very small, being limited in me,
subject to the style.
And we kept falling.
In two days the love affair had progressed in due form.
I was guiltless and at the same time full of guilt.
He did not suspect anything.
On the evening of the third day I finally set about discovering who I was.
I turned to myself.
Into the dark secret.
Before, yes, exactly.
Where was I?
Where was it?
What was earlier?
A chorus of answers.
If there was only one chain…