BEING ALICE - Ver. 2.1 is  a theme and variations arranged for chamber orchestra  with optional narration and multimedia (2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, tuba, tympani, percussion and strings). The work can also be thought of as a "young person's guide to musical composition," as each variation explores different techniques (inversion, retrograde, mirror, augmentation, canon, etc.). The work is presented below. Clicking on the PDF documents will provide the full score for each movement. 

Being Alice - Ver.2.1 was performed on July 2, 2016 at Givat Washington College in Israel, conducted by Michael Klinghoffer.

Theme and Variations
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Well… Let me explain. 
First, it must be said that there have always been rumors. 
That there really was more to the tale of Alice and her Wonderland friends, 
then was originally said. 
A bit of gossip here.  A little talk there.
Most folk never gave much thought about such titillations… 
at least not until now.
But recently, we found… stuffed in a closet, 
along with other artifacts and papers… another manuscript.

It was no more than scratches on some old yellowed papers. 
But to the trained eye it appeared to be a musical score. 
The challenge for the team of archaeologists, editors, and orchestrators 
was to interpret such fanciful ideas into something that is listenable to our modern ears...       And would be more than a just another bore.

But the work has been done and thus the beginnings of “Being Alice… “ 
The music of Wonderland… A theme with variations galore. 


So we are about to begin. 
But, if we are to begin, we must know where to begin. 
So you’ve always been told we must begin with a theme, 
Or a melody, if you will. 
For you see, from the beginning of time, there have always been themes… 
At least before Hobbits and Babbits were running about.

So Maestro, let us begin… 
Please play Alice’s theme. 
(Play opening theme)

But there is more to a theme than you think.
If we are to make our variations
We must first take it apart.
A bit of dissection,
With just a bit of gore. 
So we can understand all the bits and pieces
That make up our glorious theme that never ceases.

Would you please…

(Music continues.)

So there you see, we have taken it apart
and now we can put it all back together again.
And now that we know it is more than mere chance
We can begin to understand…
We can begin the dance.

(The Dance is played)


Now what makes Wonderland so interesting or confusing,
depending on your point of view,
Is that everything can quickly become topsy-turvy.
Or is that turvy-topsy?
Where everything can suddenly be upside down, as well as right-side up.
(Not to mention, that it all does sometime sound like doggerel),
Though some say, it is really simply terse.

Even a Waltz is not immune, for mix it with a tune
Turned up on its head, why, it becomes a Waltz In Verse.
So let’s listen to our theme upside down, before we go further, right side up. 


Waltz in Verse
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Retro Grades
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The other dimensions must make note.
That the music of Wonderland, much of the time,
Goes not only forward, but backwards.
Why it’s like you start in fifth grade…
and start going backwards to first grade.
That is why a theme going backwards is always called…
Retro grade.


Now, of course, just like on Planet Earth, we do have mirrors in Wonderland,
A place we go to look at ourselves.
Of course, themes, just like us, enjoy looking at themselves,
Making universes of their inverses, where right is left and left is right.
But in Wonderland mirrors, sometime right is a bit slower than left and falls behind.
As though the mirror never quite got the idea of what is to happen next.
For, in Wonderland, your mirror image is always a bit behind
And not where it is supposed to be.
And of course, our poor little Theme, being left behind, often becomes quite, quite sad.

A Glass Looking
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The Queen's Fair Fan
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(Commenting on the previous movement).  Very sad indeed.

So here’s another thought…
We’ve been down and up
And forth and back.
But we have yet to be inside out
Or for that matter outside in
So here’s the theme standing on its head
While strutting front to back.

Just like our Queen… Oh, did I mention there’s a Queen
Who is often very glum.
So beware! For if is she’s wrought
You may even lose your head.


Now we are very close to the end. Why, it is just around this bend.
But there is one more variation we must discuss… the nature of Time itself.
For it is Time that makes both Music and Wonderland a most interesting place indeed.
A place, where everyone has a watch, that runs at a very different speed.
Rabbits, and Hatters, and Queens, and Caterpillars -- all have their very own clock,
That they all must watch, you see.
In fact, even our Alice theme can run at very different time and speed.
Fast and slow and everything in between.

So let’s listen, as we say goodbye, to all our variations…
As all our Alice Themes come and go,
Looking to see, if one can catch the other…
Before they vanish altogether…
And quite forever… en masse
Through the silvered walls of Alice’s very own…
Looking Glass. 

Catch Me If You Can
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Michael Klinghoffer conducts Being Alice, Version 2.1
Givat Washington University, Israel
July 5, 2016