Petr Bakla  



Příhody starého zálesáka / Stories of the Old Backwoodsman
for bassoon, percussion and piano (2005)

I. Prelude (Před deštěm / Before It Rains) (4')
II. Příhody starého zálesáka / Stories of the Old Backwoodsman (11')
III. Postlude (Na cestě / On the Road) (1')

durata: ca. 16 min.

Premiered by Jaromír Havlík, Tomáš Ondrůšek and Miroslav Pudlák in the autumn of 2005 in Prague.

Structurally speaking, the central part of the piece is a kind of variations on the dominant seventh
chord, while the Prelude and the Postlude deal with a simple rhythmic pattern and its distorted,
melodized echo. And that’s all? Instead of sophisticated harmonic structures, the dominant seventh
everywhere? Instead of spectral chords, octaves? The saw and the slide flute attempting (in vain)
to get in tune, instead of intricate microtonal systems? The piano only rarely played with more than
one finger? Held bassoon notes instead of brand-new multiphonics, and the scraping saw instead
of 27th harmonic on the E string? And the triangle...?!?
You may see the piece as a manifesto of musical primitivism, but please note: it is nothing
sarcastic or polemic and by no means a parody. I would like to call it a “melancholic musical DIY”.
Před deštěm (Before It Rains), Příhody starého zálesáka (Stories of the Old Backwoodsman) and
Na cestě (On the Road; nothing to do with Kerouac, though) are titles of poems in prose by Ivan
Wernisch, which have been object of my admiration since many years. However, the titles say very
little about the melancholic-nostalgic-ironic nature of the poems, minimal and masterly elegant…
And so simplistic and banal at first sight! In the best case, this piece can be seen as a musical
parallel or comment – hence the subtitle “music about poems”.