Non Sequitur Music


Play the beginning of the first movement,
Apetite, from the quartet version of Arrows.

Play the beginning of the second movement,
Brave World, from the quartet version of Arrows.

Play the third movement, Arrows,
from the quartet version of Arrows.

All of these performances are by the
Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble:
Timothy Jones, baritone; Danny Spiegel, piano;
Campbell MacDonald, clarinet; and Norbert Lemandowsky, cello
Recorded live in concert.




































Composer: David Heuser
Instrumentation: Baritone, Piano or Baritone, Clarinet, Cello and Piano
Year Composed: 2006
Duration: 23 minutes
Text by: Tony Hoagland (text is in English)
Pages: 41 (piano version)/ 60 (for quartet)

I. Appetite
II. Brave World
III. Arrows

Cost: Purchase: $15.00 for piano version (2 copies) / $30.00 for quartet version (score and parts)

Premiere Performances:

  • Timothy Jones, baritone, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, City Theatre, Pittsburgh, PA (July 4-5, 2008)
  • Timothy Jones, baritone, Mark Alexander, piano, Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas (May 3, 2008)

Program Notes:

The three poems by Tony Hoagland which make up Arrows all revolve around sickness and health and life and death. They are infused with not only a humanity and a sense of the level we live on (as opposed to some grand, cosmic view of these issues), but also with a great deal of humor.

In Appetite, a dinner with a friend who has "one of those diseases/known by its initials" becomes a rumination for the narrator on being alive, with the "wilderness outside you pressing to get in, / the wilderness inside you trying to get out," until his friend's call for a toast brings him back to the here-and-now.

Brave World suggest a view of illness from the point of view of the microbe, the virus and the cancer cell "that breaks out of the crowd it has belonged to all its life / like a housewife erupting / from her line at the grocery store." Hoagland's dark humor relegates us to just being a "secondary character" in this view as he asks of these germs: "What about their bill of rights?"

Arrows is in three sections. The first two discuss illness and the frailty of the human form ("I sing the body like a burnt-out fuse box"), while the last reminds us of the power of the soul to say "None of this is real." Hoagland calls up the image of St. Sebastian, looking "steadfastly heavenward / away from the...fascinating spectacle / of his own body / bristling with arrows." The painting of St. Sebastian by Andrea Mantegna (1431-1506) is used as the frontpiece for the work and is reproduced below.

St. Sebastian (ca. 1459) by Andrea Mantegna (1431-1506)

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