Truth Or Consequences
Truth Or Consequences is a town in New Mexico. When I first heard the name, I was attracted by the philosophical opposites it implied: in musical terms it seemed to refer for me to two musical forms which concerned me. The first of these is a struggle between alternating sections of opposite character (suggestive to me of the immobility of 'truth'); the other, by contrast fluid and evolving, like the game Consequences, is a succession of new sections, each of which acts as introduction to the next. Both these are 'block' forms such as characterize almost all my work of this period.

In this way movement 1 presents a slow music that becomes more elaborate after each interruption by short, athletic passages, though these also expand on each appearance. Movement 2 unfolds a cumulative series of rhythmic phases, with the help of some unusual instrumental sounds.

All these worthy, high-minded thoughts were rudely challenged by the discovery that the town of Truth Or Consequences bought its name from a game show of that name as a publicity stunt. This mundane reality presents a suitably ludicrous contrast to the abstract ideas that gave rise to the music.

c Piers Hellawell 1992