The study of Topology, a complex mathematics of objective geometry, has taught us a great deal about "surface tension" and how multiple intentions are manifested upon a single donut or torus. But its implication is that 3-dimensional reality is an illusion ÷ all is surface and, what's more, the same surface. These notes are connected to your eyelash and my fist. What is yours is mine, for we are all connected by a thin film of existence. Topology, stretched to its metaphysical limit, becomes tautology.
Originating with a dramatic reading of Dr. Seuss' Butter Battle Book in 1991, "Freudian Loops" has evolved over the years into an exploration in retaliation. Although source material has been arranged ahead of time, the performers are engaged in a very real struggle to win this musical contest. The resulting sound is both serialism (a result of certain pre-established rules) and improvisation as the two primary characters try to out wit and out "sonify" the other.
If a single point must be chosen when "Cat's Cradle" transformed from "cult" status to a "classic" it would be the statement by Graham Greene calling the work "one of the three best ... of the year." "Cat's Cradle" has consistently appeared on high school and college lists; Peter J. Reed says that it might be the most widely appreciated work among young people. He explains that "it counters almost every aspect of the culture of our society. To a generation which delights in the 'put on,' parody and artifice, often as the most meaningful expressions of deeply held convictions in a world which they see as prone to distortion, Cat's Cradle's play with language, symbol and artifice should find accord."
"I wanted to compose a piece that would itself be a microcosm of the composition process," says Chad Mealey. "Should a piece get its footing from rhythmic structure or tonal structure? Simplicity or complexity? Order or chaos? Most of the questions that a composer faces are between non-complementary forces. There is no correct answer, simply a more and more precarious balance. When I began working with Igor on this performance it became clear that together, as a meta-composer, we still exemplified the same dualistic process of searching for points of balance between our conflicting ideas. When we added a third composer things started to get interesting..."
In a world where every action has a reaction, or consequence, what then is the consequence of the reaction? We seem always trapped in a history that repeats itself while we hope to evolve toward a utopian society. But, do we actually move one step up (or is it down, depending on one's perspective)? Will there ever be any more actions or only reactions? Perhaps our only means to express our free will is to react ever grander.