Slightly Cactoid

1980    Dur. 18:42    Stereo

I love cacti. They’re totally surreal. And one of the fascinating things about them is their natural incongruity: very prickly and menacing but at the same time very pretty (when they’re in the mood to produce colourful blossoms).

My objective was to compose a piece of music that has both of those traits together, just like a cactus. Applying this “plant-based” metaphor to music, the composition juxtaposes sections that are sweet and pretty with passages that are angular and dissonant. And in this case the atonal bits serve as a counterweight (smaller but denser) to the melodic elements to keep an overall balance. Hence it is “slightly” cactoid.