NABOKV-L post 0007207, Tue, 3 Dec 2002 09:16:42 -0800

Fw: Katharine Norman's TRANSPARENT THINGS

----- Original Message -----
From: Akiko Nakata
To: D. Barton Johnson
Sent: Tuesday, December 03, 2002 3:43 AM
Subject: Katharine Norman's TRANSPARENT THINGS


Dear All,

If you are looking for something for Christmas, how about this?
Katharine Norman composed TRANSPARENT THINGS inspired by the novel.  
The CD is available from: You can hear the first part of the first piece and see the cover on the webpage.

Best wishes,
Akiko Nakata


Transparent Things
piano solo

Katharine Norman


duration approx. 16 minutes (whole set), composed 1996

this piece is recorded on CD (Transparent things)

Transparent things, through which the past shines!

Man-made objects, or natural ones, inert in themselves but much used by careless life (you are thinking, and quite rightly so, of a hillside stone over which a multitude of small animals have scurried in the course of incalculable seasons) are particularly difficult to keep in surface focus: novices fall through the surface, humming happily to themselves, and are soon reveling with childish abandon in the story of this stone, of that heath

Vladimir Nabokov

a.. Cold Light, 6.a.m.
b.. Still, Clear (for VRM)
c.. Frozen Edge
d.. Long Causeway

The four pieces which make up Transparent things each explore notions of transparency: the idea of looking through a surface in search of something less tangible, and more resonant. They were inspired by both the above quotation and my long walks on and around Stanage Edge, in the Peak District, Derbyshire (UK). Although the individual pieces came from memories of specific times and places, they are not overtly programmatic. Perhaps I was seeking a musical analogy for that growing clarity of mind than can arise during a solitary walk, when there is time to reflect, to remember and to get thoughts and dreams into focus.

The pieces can be performed as a set (keeping the above order) or individually/in pairs.

Commissioned for Stephen Gutman, with funds provided by a Holst Award