[ISEA94] Artist Statement: Charles Dodge – Any Resemblance is Purely Coincidental

Artist Statement

Recitar! Mentre preso dal delirio
Non so piu quel che dico e quel che faccio!
Eppur…e d’uopo…sforzati!
Bah, se’ to forse un uom!
Tu se’ Pagliaccio
Vesti la giubba e la faccia infarina.
La gente paga e rider vuole qua.
E se Arlecchin t’invola Colombina,
Ridi Pagliaccio, e ognun applaudirà!
Tramuta in lazzi lo singhiozzo e it dolore…
Ridi Pagliaccio, sul tuo amore infranto!
Ridi del duol che l’avvelena it cor!

If there is one piece identified with Dodge, a “signature” piece if you will, it would have to be Any Resemblance… which has those qualities that seem to imbue his work in general – charm, wit, poignancy and technical brilliance. The texture is rich, the piano playing a dramatic and dynamic role, but there is never the sell out to be the trickier potentials of an idea like this one.

Dodge restrains, and the piece is informed with a sad, ironic wit which points to a profound realization. Both Any resemblance.. and Speech Songs (New Albion records) share this centrality of theme which must have something to do with loneliness and searching. Actually, in Any Resemblance…, not all is restraint; it is fact thrilling when the voice and piano find each other in the “climax”.
The Synthesized Caruso voice is based on a 1907 recording of the aria “Vesti la giubba” from Ruggiero Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci. The computer extraction of the Caruso voice from its original setting was accomplished at the University of Utah by Professor Thomas Stockham and his
student Neil Joseph Miller. Any resemblance is Purely Coincidental was commissioned with finds provided by the Arts Council of Great Britain, and is dedicated to the memory of Margaret Fairbank Jory.
Duration 7’50”

  • Charles Dodge (Conservatory of Music Brooklyn College/Center of Computer Music) received recognition early in his career for his orchestral and chamber music. He became one of the first composers to realize the vast potential of the computer for broadening the composer’s palette. As early as in the late 1960’s, he directed digital synthesis of sound,
    commuting back and forth between Princeton University, Columbia University and Bell Labs.