Romancing the atomic bomb is the thread that weaves in and out of five continuous movements that make up the narrative of Ethan Wickman's Atomic Variations. Written for the unusual quartet of bass clarinet, electric guitar, piano, and percussion, the work's heart beat is the famous Puccini aria Nessun dorma from the opera Turandot. Can you hear the melody being played on electric guitar with an all-too-sweet-sounding ebow?
Wickman has captured the complexity of love and the fear, mistakes and hopes that spring from it. Love and excitement for atomic energy's potential for amazing things turn deadly when used in the wrong hands; love for the cold Princess Turandot spurs men to try the impossible and die in the attempt; hope for love creates one of the most beautiful arias sung by Calaf under the stars during a night when "None shall sleep" in his quest to win the heart of the beautiful Princess.
NakedEye Ensemble is delighted to be performing the world premiere of the bass clarinet version of Atomic Variations.