The Lost Medusa of Leonardo da Vinci - for mezzo-soprano, clarinet, violin, cello and piano

Camden Reeves (Composer), [Unknown] Khymerikal (Performer), Rachel Maby (Performer), Conducted By Leo Geyer (Performer)

Research output: Non-textual formComposition


Setting an unfinished text by Shelley, this work explores themes of entanglement, absence, loss and decay. Shelley's incomplete text describes a now lost painting by Leonardo. In my setting, the voice (and thus text) only comes in 2/3 of the way through the work (and I set only part of the text that Shelley completed). The result is an incomplete text, describing a painting one can't see of a creature one can't look at, set such that, for most of this piece, this text is literally absent. The trajectory explores a process of disentanglement: complex polyphonic/polyrhythmic threads in the violin, cello (pizzicato throughout) and piano, are unwoven to reveal aria material in the clarinet, and then later in the voice, culminating in a duet for these two instruments accompanied by the trio. This disintegrating structure of disentanglement continues my research into musical trajectories that are informed by Roger Penrose's work on the relationship between time and entropy. My hypothesis is that, given that music's precise relationship with time is what makes it unique as an art form (music determines what you experience when and for how long), and that, according to Penrose, the dimension of time is bound to entropy, musical structures that unfold according to entropic principles could have an existential resonance with human psychology.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLancaster Jazz Fesitival
EditionLive Performance
Publication statusPublished - 19 Sep 2015
EventLancaster Jazz Festival - The HallChina StreetLancaster
Duration: 19 Dec 2015 → …


  • Musical Entropy


Dive into the research topics of 'The Lost Medusa of Leonardo da Vinci - for mezzo-soprano, clarinet, violin, cello and piano'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this