Like Blind Men Tapping in the Dark

Score title

Like Blind Men Tapping in the Dark


Libby Larsen

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Program note

I participated on a panel at MIT with Robert Jaffee, Professor of Physics at MIT, and the former Director of the MIT Center for Theoretical Physics. The topic of discussion concerned the nature of how time operates in multiple aspects of reality.

Bob showed us a piece of rock which he had culled from the oldest known rock formation on earth. He has been analyzing the rock. Using laser technology he was able to show us that the molecules of this rock fragment are alive and phenomenally active, existing in a dimension of time in which cannot sustain human beings in their current state. In other words, the rock is alive and has been for over a billion years. We, of course, live for approximately 75-80 years. When Q and A started, someone asked if it were possible for us to comprehend the kind of time in which the rock lives. He responded that to attempt to do so would be “like blind men tapping in the dark." Voila—the piece for one marimba/two performers arrived whole in my head. This is a piece made of patterns. Both marimba players work their way around the marimba, sometimes interlocking, sometimes separate, arriving at the position 180 degrees opposite of their position at the start of the piece.

—Libby Larsen