Extreme Measures

ALBANY Records – TROY 1217/18 – double CD – compilation (USA 2010)


Extreme Measures is the first project in clarinetist Jean Kopperud’s Rated X series. It is seven clarinet and piano works written for Kopperud asking composers to dare to stretch the medium. Rated X (“Extreme Measures”) premiered in the fall of 2008 on the West Coast and was recorded in the spring of 2009.

(Dis)tensioni is a collection of eight short pieces.  The oxymoron expressed by the title (Dis)tensioni (Italian for tension and relaxation) describes the main peculiarity of the entire work.  The musical fragments, which represent tiles of an idealized “sonorous mosaic,” influence one another generating different “objects” simultaneously complementary one to another.  From a broader perspective, with a wider zoom, the ambiguity of each consequent configuration (coming from the continuous “opening” of gestural proliferations) tends to generate a sort of palette constituted by “archetypes/colors” (therefore, open to the unknowable in its relation with the “history/culture”).  Thereby, the “short” pieces – or better, “compressed” pieces – gain an abstract/metaphysical and improvisative character.  I think that only in a metaphysical environment – therefore in an abstract and hypothetically superior dimension in comparison with actual reality – it is possible to overcome the “thing itself” (gesture, idea and its realization) and achieve self-strengthening and liberation.  This piece has been commissioned by Jean Kopperud for “Rated x,” a Jean Kopperud and Stephen Gosling project. Paolo Cavallone