Memory Lane

For clarinet, cello and piano. Third prize in the Prinses Christina Compositieconcours 2020.

At a certain point when writing Memory Lane, I thought mockingly of what I had written. Being in an early stage of development, the piece lacked coherency, which caused some sections to stand on their own. It reminded me slightly of the famous ride of theme park De Efteling, Carnaval Festival. Since it was a similar carrousel-like experience of emotions, reminiscences and atmospheres to me, but lacking in an overarching theme and connected styles and music, I was irritated limitlessly. I thought to myself that Memory Lane (‘down the memory lane’) could convey this very idea, and thus the name was given. After a quick google I found a movie with the same name, but there are no further connections, I’m afraid. After thematic structure was established and the piece finished for a good deal, I managed to see the title in a more positive light. The passages I was previously discontented with, now contextually and strategically placed, aroused a deep sense of nostalgia in me. The title became something to be proud of, since I now actually enjoy those parts which sound the most nostalgic and memory triggering to me. I have always struggled with this nostalgic nature. On the one hand, I am often emotionally troubled, but on the other hand, I realize the importance of living and dealing with the present, in order to make good memories and thus live a life one could enjoy living.

The often improvisatory-like atmosphere and gamelan-like playing of Memory Lane tend to give the piece an oriental air. Moreover, while some moments are contemplative and feel endless, others are extremely real, dramatic or even mourning-like, while others are volatile, freely and carelessly happening in the moment. Seemingly happening without purpose, flowing in time, but still purposely created in a conspicuous organic way.  Nonetheless, all moments are structured and related to each other somehow, for example by using recurring themes, motives, colours and instrumentation.

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