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Rafting & Beyond

for 2 Pianos and 2 Percussionists

"Rafting & Beyond" is obviously a strange title for a piece of music, and in this case the title has really a purely personal meaning. Nevertheless, a "rafting" experience inspired me to create a formal framework based on social relationsships that became the starting point of "Rafting...".

As we know, the term "rafting" refers to a watersport activitiy that is very poular in countries like New Zealand. In my piece the term has a more symbolic meaning for a small drama of interpersonal human relationships that I experienced during such a "rafting" tour.

In the beginning, all participants of such an enterprise meet, and a timid contacting, a mutual "feeling out" starts. Suddenly, all participants are caught by the forces of nature, the water stream, and everyone tries individually to make his/her best of the situation - always the same persons, the same boats, the same but always changing environment - but everyone has his/her own character to face this situation. The final meeting at the end then has only formal character - and once again, everyone disappears back into his/her own world, so to speak, "...the play may start again from the beginning...".

Out of various reasons, this concrete experience became the framwork to compose a music that deals with such relationships on various levels in form of a small musical "drama".

Besides that, something goes beyond such a realistic relation and touches a more abstract level of psychological behaviours and relations, seperated from the concrete starting point. The players themselves will experience special playing situations because of the composed textures. By that they experience all those relations on a higher level. Therefore it is not necessary at all to know anything about the original story (it might be even better not to know anything about that background!).

As in all my other pieces, the nmusic has to have an own transcendental dimension, fully seperated from a perhaps realistic starting point.

"Rafting & Beyond" was composed in Wellington/ New Zealand during my stay as composer-in-residence". The piece is dedicated to my friend and composer Jack Body.

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