for clarinet and electronics
clarinet in B♭ and pre-recorded electronics
Year of composition:
David Rix (clarinet)
1984 Musica Nova, Glasgow's Sixth International Festival of Contemporary Music
University of Glasgow Concert Hall, September 1984
... Abarco el horizonte
de inciertos mares, y de tierra cierta.
('Habla un busto de Jano', La Rosa Profunda, Jorge Luis Borges)
In classical antiquity, the two-headed god symbolises beginnings and endings, duality, gates ...
Janus is a rhapsodic set of variations on a fixed harmonic configuration consisting of a group of seven notes and another of five, together adding to the total chromatic. While the clarinet and the electronics, each alternate between these collections of notes continuously, between them they always unfold complementary groups. Unity in duality is further expressed in the layering, juxtaposition, and interweaving of distinct, yet complementary, gestures, textures, and sonorities.
Janus was realised at the Electronic Music Studio of Glasgow University (directed by Stephen Arnold) using an EMS Synthi 100 treated through a variety of tape-delays and room reverberations. A digital version of the electronics (originally on magnetic tape) is available.