Roger Heaton, clarinets.
“I want to find the music, not to compose it". This statement,
one of Tom Johnson's most effective, explains the general
sense of the music of this CD and of most of Tom's musical
research. The Rational Melodies are one of the most
important instrumental cycles of the "new music" repertoire.
Here we have the application of rational methodology to
musical composition, using additive operations, combinations,
permutations, substitutions, inversions and other logical
processes as directed by the ear of a passionate musician. "I
am certainly not the first person to work with logical
sequences and formulas," says Johnson. But we, the listeners,
must thank him for letting us hear clearly (and musically) this
The Bedtime Stories can be heard as delicate, peculiar
musical "nursery rhymes"; it's a little 12-story compendium of
sound that takes us on an amazing journey in the world of
Roger Heaton is, in this disc, simply fantastic. It¹s hard to find
a better word to describe the sensations that surface as we
listen to him. The British clarinetist give us the essence of
Johnson’s music. In his interpretation rationality becomes
joy, inspiration, strength; melodies appear in chic classical
clothes and his virtuosity (always needed by the score)
perfectly adheres to the scores. And there is also the elegant
reading of the texts of the Bedtime Stories, with that perfect
English accent and that clarinet that seems coming from the
pages of a fairy-tales (and numbers) book.
Esther Ferrer is a multi-faceted Spanish artist, living in Paris
for years, but traveling all over Europe (much in Italy) and in
the rest of the world. Presenting performances, installations,
photographic works, she is a great exponent of "total art"
(she was in the group ZAJ from 1967 until the group
discontinued in 1996). For this CD cover, she offers one of her
visual structures following the prime number series, an aspect
of her work that goes particularly well with the rational
processes of her husband, Tom Johnson. A particular thanks
to Esther for her kind permission to allow us to use these
1-21) Rational Melodies I-XXI 35'54"
22-33) Bedtime Stories I-XII 24'02"