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Program note: Pictures of A Humument

  • Claire Jordan
  • Source: The Song Company A Programme of New Works 18 October 1992

Pictures of A Humument Claire JORDAN (b. 1968)

A Human Document is an obscure D-grade 19th century romance novel, which
indirectly has formed the genesis of this piece. The graphic artist (among other
trades), Tom Philips, transformed this mundane piece of literature into something
poetic, witty and beautiful by painting an image onto each page, obscuring all but a
few words. These words are nonsensical outside the context of the story, but are
given a subtle and ambiguous meaning when seen in the context of the artwork.
Pictures of A Humument creates a musical context for a selection of these
evocative but essentially meaningless words. The music was composed intuitively,
using a vision of changing images and colours, slowly merging one into another,
as a guide. C.J.


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