Choral: mixed chorus
tautology n. [Gk tauto the same + logy word] 1 The contextual repetition, originally of the same word or phrase, now usually of the same idea or statement in different words, especially as a fault of style. M16. 2 An instance of this; a tautological phrase or expression. L16. 3 Philosophy. The absolute identification of cause and effect; an expression of this. rare. M17. 4 Logic. A compound proposition which is unconditionally true for all the truth-possibilities of its component propositions and by virtue of its logical form. E20. b A proposition that is true by virtue of the meaning of its terms. M20. — Oxford English Dictionary
tautology n. [Eng colloq tot a small child + Gk logy word] 1 Of or pertaining to the lexicon of a small child, especially before the inception of articulate speech. E21.
Tautology was composed between July and December, 2003, for Volti as a part of their Choral Arts Laboratory. In this work, I set out to explore pure sound without regard to word or meaning, and my approach was inspired by the development of speech in my son Benjamin over the first year of his life. Every sound in the piece was made by him during this formative period, though I have taken the liberty to assemble the sounds into a musical structure. In a sense, I set out to recapitulate the universal exploration of sound that each of us undertakes and to translate this into music, which is often understood to derive from this very pre-articulate phase of development. Repetition (as per the official definition of tautology) is one of the primary means of this exploration and figures prominently in the piece.