Recordings of my three daughters’ voices together with some of their more musical toys provide the main source material for this celebration of — or lament for — childhood.
In their untransformed states these two pools of material form the poles of the work between which the music voyages over a variety of routes. Occasionally the journey is straightforward, children transforming directly into toys or vice versa, but more often the music follows a more meandering path, passing through transitory, equatorial realms in which the original sources are less discernible.
At such times, and for the greater part of the piece, it is the pure musicality of the material which is being explored, rather than its poetic or anecdotal possibilities, although suggestions of the fleeting transience of youth, the fragility of childhood innocence and the bitter-sweet remembrance of times past are never very far below the surface.
Scherzo was realized in the spring of 1992, and revised during the summer of 1993, at the Electroacoustic Music Studios of the University of Birmingham (UK) and premiered on June 29, 1992 at the Concert Room of the University of East Anglia in Norwich (UK). Scherzo was awarded a commendation in the Prix Ars Electronica (Linz, Austria, 1993), and an Honorable Mention in the Stockholm Electronic Arts Award (Sweden, 1994).