Hayes, Morgan: Shatner’s Bassoon
Score and Parts
For Clarinet in A, trumpet in C, trombone, piano, viola and double bass.
Commissioned by Endymion in celebration of its 30th anniversary
1st perf: Endymion, Quentin Poole (cond), Sound Census festival, Kings Place, London, 5 June 2009
Satirist Chris Morris persuaded various media figures that Shatner’s Bassoon was an area of the brain that controlled time perception, and that it was was targeted by the fictional drug ‘cake’. Taking his cue from the musical equivalent of time extended, diminished and reviewed by means of augmentation and recapitulation, Morgan Hayes has written a witty but no insubstantial essay making prominent use of these techniques. The piano part is first among equals in an ensemble of clarinet, trumpet, trombone, viola and double bass.
Morgan Hayes’s Shatner’s Bassoon, based on the satirist Chris Morris’s infamous spoof about a time-warping drug, was equally absorbing: it really did seem to expand and elongate a single musical moment through several different dimensions.
Richard Morrison, The Times, 9 June 2009
‘Yet another treat is Morgan Hayes’s Shatner’s Bassoon. Like Holt and others, Hayes takes advantage of the Endymion lineup to field an unusual ensemble: no bassoon (the title comes from a satirical tv sketch), but clarinet, trumpet, trombone, violin, double bass and soloesque piano. Manoeuvrings through an omnipresent idea—present even when it is absent, present in its absence—play tricks with time, and the piece is intricately, quickwittedly composed.’
Paul Griffiths, http://disgwylfa.com/