a music theatre work for amplified male double bass player and two digital soundtracks

based on poems by Tennessee Williams*

music and libretto by Barry Truax

video version, 2001
Androgyne, Mon Amour incorporates a setting of six poems by Tennessee Williams from his book of the same title, as read by Douglas Huffman. The poems are intensely lyrical, intimate and erotic in a celebration of gay love that is acted out, both musically and dramatically, by the live performer interacting in a variety of conventional and unconventional ways with the instrument which is personified as his lover. Both the vocal part and various sound material from the bass are digitally processed through resonators that model the characteristics of the open strings of the instrument, thereby linking them sonically and musically, as if each is speaking through the other. The work was commissioned by and is dedicated to the virtuoso American double bassist Robert Black.

The feminine counterpart to this work is Wings of Fire for female cellist, based on a poem by Joy Kirstin.

Androgyne, Mon Amour is available on the Cambridge Street Records CD Twin Souls. A complete documentation analysis of the work is also available on a DVD-ROM. See also the article in Musicworks.

Sound Example available; Score

Video stills featuring Robert Black and Walter Kubanek

Spectrogram Analysis from the sixth section of the work, which is part of the author's Documentation Analysis DVD


B. Truax, "The aesthetics of computer music: a questionable concept reconsidered," Organised Sound, 5(3), 119-126, 2000.

B. Truax, "Homoeroticism and Electroacoustic Music: Absence and Personal Voice," Organised Sound, 8(1), 117-124, 2003; accompanying video on CD-R for vol. 8.

*Text copyright © 1977 by Tennessee Williams. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation.