Composer's Note

This short work was composed in dialogue with Theme in Search of Variations III by Mark Applebaum.

degradation|palimpsest explores ideas of data decay and mutation in situations where a work is recursively copied, recontextualized, reperformed, or listened to.

As such, this work takes Applebaum’s original as its substrate, copying it and miscopying it in various ways: some sections of the original are repeated in a kind of manic echolalia, others are stretched, skewed, or interposed in frenetic decoupage. Others still are new material, unravelled, perhaps, from a short, intimate gestus in the original.

The work also interpolates sections of Applebaum’s explanatory text that accompanies the score, as though that information—that normally is kept separate from what is heard by audiences—has transgressed the disintegrating bounds of the work’s æsthetic frame.

Finally, an epigram by Duchamp:

I had the idea that a painting cannot, must not be looked at too much. It becomes desecrated by the very act of being seen too much. It reaches a point of exhaustion.1

1 Arturo Schwarz, The Complete Works of Marcel Duchamp, 2nd rev. ed. (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1970), 477.

degradation|palimpsest Score