by Dan Trueman
Instrumentation: flute/piccolo, clarinet/bass clarinet, violin/viola, cello, electric violin/laptop, piano, percussion
We discover a very old, noisy recording of an unfamiliar tune, a tune that seems archaic, belonging to a distant culture. We listen, analyze, dissect. We use it, appropriate it, and create a new piece that is meant to exhalt it. Our new piece begins with the old recording, and then abstracts it, taking it elsewhere, until we discover our own music in the noise of the old recording. Well, the story of Counterfeit Curio is quite the opposite. The “old, noisy recording,” which ends the piece, is in fact a fake, created in the waning months of 2002, and the tune it holds is in fact original, new, and grows out of the music that precedes it. Rather than serving as a model, a trove of material to be used as a starting point, the tune is a postlude, an incomplete summary of its inspiration. The story of Counterfeit Curio is then not in discovering the history of the original tune, attempting to verify its authenticity, but in discovering the tune itself.