We are all in the habit of talking to ourselves whether in our own heads or out loud for all to hear. A monology is that habit of soliloquizing – sometimes to solve a problem, sometimes to argue – but often our own inner monologues are the only perspectives we prefer to hear: our silent, screaming voices shutting out the influences of the unreasonable and immovable yelling of the loudest voices. Our inner monologues may be serious and humorous at the same time, and may provide a therapeutic release. But sometimes our own voices may serve the opposite purpose without intention.
This Monology is an argument between a melancholy lyricism and an aggressive, sardonic dance.
When Arno approached me about composing a work for solo baritone saxophone, his primary stipulation was that it may embrace expression with a romantic sensibility, noting that he was recently listening to Kodaly’s beautiful solo cello Sonata. Monology captures the dramatic expressionism of internal conflict using an unashamed post-romantic tonal language combined with the powerfully vast range of the baritone saxophone, both dynamically and registrally. This is, of course, peppered with subtle references to current musical discourse.
Monology was completed on August 6, 2018 in Potsdam, NY. It is approximately 10’15’’ in duration.
Note: Monology does require a baritone saxophone that has the low A and high F# keys. It cannot be performed effectively without them, and no revisions will be made to accommodate performers without this equipment.
Arno Bornkamp’s beautifully expressive performance from his album Folies de Baryton, released on May 3, 2023.