for piccolo / flute / alto flute and oboe / english horn
The concept of the Sirens found in Homer’s Odyssey was always a fascinating idea: beautiful, elegant creatures that could lure anyone to their death by simply singing a song. Variations of this concept are present in nature with the Black Widow spider, or the praying mantis, with the female killing the male after mating, and is a very curious archetype.
But, do Sirens actually exist? I would guess not, but you see a lot of people attempt to achieve that image, not with death, but through… conquest… as it were. My thought is what if there was someone who thought they were as capable as a Siren, but who actually is incredibly awkward about it all, creating an image similar to SNL’s Night at the Roxbury.
Thus, the scene is this: a pair of women at a bar. Across the room, they seem two men that peak their interest. This would be First Sight, the process of attempting to get their attention without having to actually interact with them. It IS awkward, it can be frustrating, and it is never as simple as one would wish. Providing the lovely ladies get the attention of the thick-headed men, they get to move on to conversations, or Small Talk. Discuss the weather, your family, what you do, who you are, feel their fabric, whatever you think works. There are starts and stops, there are stark subject shifts; conversations can be elegant, or they can be clunky. It’s a sort of dance, and if both sides do not participate, then you really will not get anywhere.
Providing they actually DO get somewhere, now there is the Attempted Seduction. It would make sense that, continuing in the vein of dances, a tango would be an appropriate choice to move forward. The awkwardness of the initial encounter is still there—having just met—so it would make sense that it would manifest itself at least one more time before the scenario comes to some sort of conclusion.
This piece was commissioned by the Paradise Winds for two of their members: Jenna Daum and Ashley Williams. It requires 5 instruments to perform, is a slow progression down in range, and is intended to be an embodiment of awkward dancing.