The Space of Elsewhere


Print Edition Price: 

$21.75 score + 3 parts

Year Authored (or revised): 



Piano Trio

Instrumentation : 

Violin, Cello, Piano

Duration (min): 


Composer's note: Some time ago I had read phenomenologist-poet Gaston Bachelard’s book, The Poetics of Space (1994) (pp.183-184). This is where I first came across the idea “the space of elsewhere,” in which Bachelard discusses the spatial aspects of poetic images, and from there the idea of immensity, dreaming and creativity. BacheIard said, “Immensity is within ourselves, It is attached to a sort of expansion of being that life curbs and caution arrests, but which starts again when we are alone. As soon as we become motionless, we are elsewhere; we are dreaming in a world that is immense.”  I was very interested in this, as it seemed to suggest a composition. I put the idea aside, as I had other pressing work, as well as compositions to complete.  More recently - this year - I read Matthew Fox’s, book Creativity: Where the Divine and the Human Meet, (2002) and was interested to see a discussion of imagination and creativity, along with quotes from Gaston Bachelard. “We become transported outside the immediate world to a world that bears a mark of infinity…Isn’t imagination alone able to enlarge indefinitely the images of immensity? It takes us to the space of elsewhere.” Fox continues with “Imagination takes us to nothingness, to emptiness, to what is not yet and therefore to what might still be.”  That is exactly where creativity emerges, in a ‘space of elsewhere’ where the mind floats from one idea to another. In a state of musical creativity, musical ideas come and go, coalesce, merge, even ideas from previous works, especially if I have been practicing or rehearsing them for a performance. We all know what an ‘earworm’ is – music that you hear and then can’t get it out of your mind. For composers, that music can be their own, and when working on a new piece, the melodies, harmonies and other musical aspects from the previous piece are still there. It’s not exactly like ‘borrowing’ or ‘mining’ a previous work or a ‘variation’ on a theme. Rather, these musical ideas are still active and want to become part of a new world, a new musical space. - Darleen Mitchell

Ensemble Type: 

instrumental trio
Internal Fields


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