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The main concept behind Taured is the importance of choice and how the different outcomes of one decision could create multiple realities. The first choice I faced while composing Taured was which instrument or instruments would start the piece. I had come up with a repeated pattern that I liked, but I couldn’t decide if I should give it to the piano or have the violin and cello play it pizzicato. I ultimately decided on the piano, but I wondered what the piece would be like if I had given the pattern to the strings. There is a dramatic pause about half way through the piece, and at this point the violin and cello take up the pattern while the piano becomes the main source of melody. In effect, the piece starts over midway through. The second half follows roughly the same path as the first, but each instrument takes on a different role. The piano, whose role was mostly accompanimental, is now melodic while the strings provide the accompaniment. This creates what is almost an alternate version of the same composition.


The notion of alternate or parallel realities has always intrigued me. While doing research on the subject I came across a story about a European man who arrived at an airport in Tokyo in 1954. He carried an official passport from a country called Taured, complete with stamps from previous trips to Japan. Having never heard of such a country, the officials questioned him for hours. The man insisted Taured had existed for 1000 years in an area that we know as Andorra. Not knowing what to do with the man, the officials provided him a room on the top floor of a hotel with a guard keeping watch. The next morning the man had vanished and was never seen again. While this story is most likely not true, one explanation is that the man had crossed over from an alternate reality into ours, a reality where the decisions and events 1000 years ago that created his country had never happened.


Taured was composed for the Dahlia Trio, (Kelly Bohling - Violin, Ellen Lind - Cello, Laura Hrivnak – Piano) and premiered live on Kansas Public Radio. It was also named the winner of the Second City Chamber Series Young Composer's Competition in 2017.

Ryan Woodhouse


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