Serenade for the Ghosts (2019)
Instrumentation: clarinet, string quartet
Duration: 6 minutes
In just under six minutes, Serenade for the Ghosts fuses together contrasting sources of inspiration that span across three centuries. First, mysterious chord progressions used by nineteenth-century composer Richard Wagner to depict magic, sorcery, and the supernatural in his music dramas, particularly Lohengrin and The Ring. Second, the film scores of Bernard Herman whose captivating music was an integral part to the success of movies by director Alfred Hitchcock such as Psycho and Vertigo. Lastly, the final inspiration is contemporary, twenty-first century orchestration with its penchant for exploring eerie and unusual sounds. Though Serenade for the Ghosts does not follow an explicit narrative, it’s clear the ghosts are here for a phantasmatic fancy, then vanish into thin air.