Monday and Tuesday
Monday and Tuesday
Heading: for chamber ensemble
8 December 1992
Queen Elizabeth Hall, London
London Sinfonietta / Lothar Zagrosek
Recording: Monday and Tuesday can be found on the release, four
This piece is full of vigour and diversity, pulsing with rhythmic life... —Robert Maycock, The Independent
The usual Torke fingerprints are there, but in particular high relief... I found [it] exhilarating, clever, and funny...—Financial Times
...there is a brilliant manipulation of rhythm, highly sprung so that the music barely touches the ground, and an assertive, dazzling white-smiled confidence about the writing that's as devastating as it is attractive. You come out of it enfeebled by its vigour, feeling like the thin, pale torso on a beach of Californian lifeguards. At least, I did. —Michael White, The Independent
Monday and Tuesday may be a musical response to those days of the week, or they may not. In fact, the music needs no hidden agenda to justify itself, its beautiful sense of organic flow and development and its pulsing kinetic energy are enough in themselves for this listener. —Gramophone
Whether one's daily habits are on a free or a fixed schedule, a certain structure is imposed upon us by the inescapable fact of the earth's revolution: the sun does come up in the morning, there is a sense of midday when the sun reaches its height, and it inevitably sets. This periodicity gives life a sense of rhythm- a sense of recurring events. We find ourselves eating meals each day, sometimes even at regular times, we go to work and come back home, sleep follows being awake. Our sense of reality is established when things follow a course.
The richness of variety that human beings crave can be measured against the basic underpinnings that tend to repeat in each day. Any given Tuesday is going to be different from Monday: different appointments, a different set of phone calls to return, a different restaurant at night, a different chapter in the novel read before falling asleep, makes one day unlike the next. But from day to day these things we do remain the same kinds of activities, the differences being the wonderful shades of variation and the possible unexpected in, for instance, who it is you're meeting at a given appointment, whose phone call you're returning, where you will eat, or which novelist you've chosen to read before bed.
This is written to give the listener a sense of the general periodicity between the two movements of Monday and Tuesday, the recurring patterns found within sections, and repeated rhythms found within phrases. The subtle differences between the Monday movement and the Tuesday movement (a new group of chords, new melodic material derived from those chords, a slightly different rhythmic sequence) is heightened by the fact the musical underpinnings are similar. Differences stand out when similarities are made clear. The comparison between my music and two of the days of the week is not meant to imply some sort of program; the music is not illustrating the events of my or anyone else's day; nor is it making any kind of philosophical statement about what one can expect from life. It is merely a loose metaphor that invites the listener to hear the structures I am working with, and get a feeling for the general intentions of the piece.