“I want to find the music, not to compose it". This statement, one of Tom Johnson's most effective, explains the general sense of the music of this CD and of most of Tom's musical research. The Rational Melodies are one of the most important instrumental cycles of the "new music" repertoire. Here we have the application of rational methodology to musical composition, using additive operations, combinations, permutations, substitutions, inversions and other logical processes as directed by the ear of a passionate musician. "I am certainly not the first person to work with logical sequences and formulas," says Johnson. But we, the listeners, must thank him for letting us hear clearly (and musically) this rationality.
The Bedtime Stories can be heard as delicate, peculiar musical "nursery rhymes"; it's a little 12-story compendium of sound that takes us on an amazing journey in the world of numbers.
Roger Heaton is, in this disc, simply fantastic. It¹s hard to find a better word to describe the sensations that surface as we listen to him. The British clarinetist give us the essence of Johnson’s music. In his interpretation rationality becomes joy, inspiration, strength; melodies appear in chic classical clothes and his virtuosity (always needed by the score) perfectly adheres to the scores. And there is also the elegant reading of the texts of the Bedtime Stories, with that perfect English accent and that clarinet that seems coming from the pages of a fairy-tales (and numbers) book.
Esther Ferrer is a multi-faceted Spanish artist, living in Paris for years, but traveling all over Europe (much in Italy) and in the rest of the world. Presenting performances, installations, photographic works, she is a great exponent of "total art" (she was in the group ZAJ from 1967 until the group discontinued in 1996). For this CD cover, she offers one of her visual structures following the prime number series, an aspect of her work that goes particularly well with the rational processes of her husband, Tom Johnson. A particular thanks to Esther for her kind permission to allow us to use these images.