The recorded version of Ring Triptych presented here is structured in five parts. Erda, the opening segment is electronic, followed by three movements of Siegfried Suite, solo guitar. The central section In vacuo, is electronic, followed by the remaining three movements of Siegfried Suite. The final section A brief moment of consciousness is electronic.
Electronic sections of Ring Triptych, expansive and enigmatic, represent the overall mystery of the legend, while the more personal and tangible sounds of solo guitar depict the varied psychological states the hero Siegfried experiences through his telluric journey. Albert recalls beginning the work; “The challenge I faced was to create a large scale work for the opening that could express the subtle nature of Paul’s paintings through music. To do this I needed to make a clear contrast between the legend and the main character Siegfried. I chose two media; solo classical guitar for Siegfried, and electronic music for the mythical characters and events. It was never my intention to meld these two together, but to juxtapose them to express the differing psychological perspectives expressed in the paintings.”
The electronic music was conceived, elaborated on, and expanded throughout the compositional process. It combines sampling of both “real” and computer generated sounds. Albert remarked that; “The real sounds were processed from passages in the guitar suite, a Tibetan bowl, an aluminum wok cover, wedding rings, my own voice, and several other objects from my house and studio.”
The guitar section, the central structure of the work, is based on a suite of 6 movements, with each movement representing Siegfried’s states throughout the tale. The opening Prelude is Siegfried as a pilgrim, the Allemande is Siegfried as idyll, Courante is Hagen’s betrayal that leads to the murder of Siegfried, a mournful Sarabande is Siegfried’s funeral, Danses de l’étrange is a depiction the Norns while they rule on the fate of Siegfried’s afterlife, and the final Gigue is Siegfried’s deliverance in Valhalla.
Albert sums up Ring Triptych this way; “Musically I perceive this work as a large arc that converts space into time. The music’s duration follows the physical dimensions of the paintings as one views them. Through this viewing/listening one traverses the ascension from within the earth (represented by Erda) to heaven (represented by Wotan), by passing through its surface where humanity resides. Humanities travail personified by Siegfried’s experiences.”
Siegfried suite – Prelude
Siegfried suite – Allemande
Siegfried suite – Courante
Siegfried suite – Sarabande
Siegfried suite – Danses de l’étrange
Siegfried suite – Gigue
A brief moment of consciousness