Osnat Netzer: I won't be outrun by a cavalry of snails
Nichols Concert Hall, Music Institute of Chicago
Ensemble del Niente:
Amanda DeBoer Bartlett, soprano
Carrie Henneman Shaw, soprano
Emma Hospelhorn, flutes
Katherine Schoepflin Jimoh, clarinets
Winston Choi, piano
Hanna Hurwitz, violin
Ammie Brod, viola
Juan Horie, cello
Michael Lewanski, conductor
I won’t be outrun by a cavalry of snails was commissioned by Ensemble Dal Niente. It was composed in Lincolnshire, Illinois and completed in April of 2021.
I won’t be outrun by a cavalry of snails is a theatrical, absurdist, psychedelic adventure. The vocal sounds are a combination of abstract vocal sounds and nonsense text, created through stream of consciousness. The aim is to create a fantasy world in which the listener can almost piece together a semantic meaning, but that meaning always escapes them. The vocalists are always on a tightrope between being instrumentalists, to conveyors of the absurdity of the human condition. Incoherent but ultra-affected shouts, whispers, vocalizations, interactions alternate quickly throughout the piece, that quick-paced transition from one affect to another adding another layer of mad-hatter-style comedy. The piece is to me a kind of battle between higher order, the unconscious, the intuitive and the counter-intuitive.