BACKSTORY ON The Dog Had Variations
The origin of The Dog Had Variations stems from a frantic voicemail received from the composers mother-in-law many years ago while on a visit exclaiming that our dog at the time, Pepper, a chocolate-brown and white springer spaniel, HAD an accident of explosive proportions on their basement rug and that we needed to GET HOME and deal with it immediately. At first the family was taken aback by the phone message, but ultimately it became a source of hilarity and shortly afterward, the composers wife created a rhyme from the message and a tune immediately sprung from that. This tune simply became something our family sung together periodically over many years time for amusement until now when the composer came up with the idea to set it to variations for string quartet. In this work, the tune is first heard in simple fashion in its entirety in the viola. Fragments of the tune follow in various guises. For example, the rhythm of the words GET HOME as well as IVE HAD IT are prominent thematic ideas used in the piece. There are also a couple of moments where the music sounds weak and demented, but also places where it sounds like a domestic quarrel and the theme is further broken down into fragments.
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