Senderos Que se Bifurcan

for Clarinet and PIano

Senderos Que se Bifurcan was the winner of the 2002 Atlanta Clarinet Association competition.  It was commissioned by the Chicago duo Wagner Campos and Richard Ferguson who subsequently premiered it.  The title is a reference to Jorge Luis Borges'  The Garden of Forking Paths.  The unison clarinet piano figure is somewhat analogous to Borges' idea of multiple existences that result from a path splitting at key events.  The music also relates to Borges with its rhythmic hints at Latin American dance and the idea of a hidden motive emerging late in the piece.


"I imagined a labyrinth of labyrinths, a maze of mazes, a twisting, turning, ever-widening labyrinth that contained both past and future and somehow implied the stars.  Absorbed in those illusory imaginings, I forgot that I was a pursued man; I felt myself, for an indefinite while, the abstract perceiver of the world.  The vague, living countryside, the moon, the remains of the day did their work in me; so did the gently downward road, which forestalled all possibility of weariness.  The evening was near, yet infinite.


The road dropped and forked as it cut through the now-formless meadows.  A keen and vaguely syllabic song, blurred by leaves and distance, came and went on the gentle gusts of breeze.  I was struck by the thought that a man may be the enemy of other men, the enemy of other men's other moments, yet not be the enemy of a country--of fireflies, words, gardens, watercourses, zephyrs."


From The Garden of Forking Paths" by Jorge Luis Borges; translated by Andrew Hurley  "Jorge Luis Borges Collected Fictions"  Penguin Books, 1998.


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