(1111-1111-hp pf 2 perc - 2111)
Commissioned by the Indiana University New Music Ensemble; Dean's Prize Commission
Performed by the IU New Music Ensemble
February 8th, 2015. Auer Hall, Bloomington, IN.
David Dzubay, director
In his rage-filled dissent of the ruling that overturned the Defense of Marriage Act, Justice Antonin Scalia accused the majority of using “legalistic argle-bargle” in their reasoning. I found the use of such language quite childish and lacking a sound logical argument Instead, Scalia seemed to be merely reacting viscerally. The term’s actual definition is superfluous, meaningless talk, which I think relates more to the dissent rather than the majority’s reasoning.
To relate to the arguments presented in the dissent, the logical flow in Argle Bargle is out of order. The piece begins right away in a tumultuous development section followed by more complete statements of the musical ideas. Throughout the piece, the energy level waxes and wanes peppered with shouting matches among the instruments. Through this, a Scalia-like character appears in the low woodwinds revealing the true nature of the piece.