Of Codes is a piece loosely based on the book by Jonathan Safran Foer Tree of Codes, which was originally based on a novel by Bruno Schulz called The Street of Crocodiles. Foer's technique in writing this book was not just a matter of inspiration. All the texts from Tree of Codes were created by cutting letters, words, numbers, sentences and paragraphs out of The Street of Crocodiles. The result is a fascinating text that is literally riddled with holes and where the reader is forced to interpret a new narrative while being acutely aware that it is based on an old
In writing Of Codes I used some of the same technique. The texts that are sung in the piece are segments that are cut out of Tree of Codes and reordered to form new words, sentences and paragraphs. I also use this technique with the musical material itself. Although Foer's book has not given me any actual music to work with, I wrote long passages of continuous material then cut out multiple sections of it. The result is a piece that full of contrasts, constantly interrupting itself, and also carries a meaning that is completely different from its original intentions.