The piece will be called Memory Variations. The form considerations are simple. Theme and variations with two sets of material, A and B, fast and slow respectively. Each set of material is written somewhat quickly and then locked away from me. I can't look at it again, ever, until the entire process is finished. After the material is locked away I will wait 3 weeks and work on something else in the meantime. When it is time to work on the piece again, I will try to only use my memory and write the same material again. My memory will act as the variation device instead of trying to put the material into different styles or different textures. Every 3 weeks I will repeat the process, trying to compose the previous version instead of always relating back to the original. In this way the material will undergo evolution as opposed to development from a single source.
I think that the beginnings and endings will be very similar to the original. I think the general shape will stay consistent. I think the details will change incredibly. This experiment is similar to an eye witness to a crime (not comparing my music to a crime against humanity). They are trying to access their memory of a split second in time. Memory is fallible. It changes over time. Details get mixed up, rearranged, reinterpreted. Instead of resisting this part of human nature, I am inviting the faultiness of memory and using it to write the piece.
When I was a kid I had so many things memorized such as phone numbers addresses, song lyrics, etc. As technology has invaded our lives and shows no signs of retreating, we aren't using our memory as storage anymore. I wonder if we will begin to lose it as our species continues to evolve?