Composer - Adams, Chris

Jekyll Rat (written for NZTrio 2010) – 10′

This work was written for the NZTrio while I was the inaugural University of Otago/James Wallace Artist in Residence at the Pah Homestead.

Twinkle twinkle little star
how I wonder what you are?
A little bit hound, a little bit fox,
a junkie for the ballot box?
Twinkle twinkle little star
who’d have thought you’d come this far.

[adapted from Sam Mahon’s A Knight’s Tale]

While Jekyll Rat is based on a prominent New Zealand politician, it unfortunately could be applicable to a number of political figures. It deals with my anger and frustration that a number of local body representatives and nationally elected politicians forget that they were elected to represent their constituents and instead become absorbed by the power and prestige of the position, or use their power and influence for personal gain.

Jekyll Rat has three movements. The first “Me ne frego” (translation: I don’t give a damn), starts with the statement of the principal theme but then over the course of the movement is gradually consumed by an insidiously growing chromatic semiquaver sequence in the strings. The second “Sycophant’s Dance,” moves between sections of slightly awkward and clumsy pomposity, teetering fragility and vicious rage. The final movement “Insanity represented by Mustard Yellow” is fast and frenetic until it finally ends with an almost elegiac reprisal of the principal theme.

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