Tarik O'Regan: No Matter

Books | SATB

Publisher: Novello
Composer: Tarik O'Regan
Format: Sheet Music | Vocal Work
For SSSAAATTTBBB unaccompanied chorus.

No Matter sets excerpts from Samuel Beckett’s 1983 prose poem Worstward Ho. It is one of the very last pieces Beckett ever wrote and remains one of his most  enigmatic. The text concern’s the poet quest to reach a position of sheer emotional  nihilism, a Sysyphian struggle that is, logically, unattainable as a creative artist:  ‘nothing’ cannot be attained with words – “And worse may I be yet; the worst is not,  so long as we can say ‘This is the worst’” (Shakespeare, King Lear IV.1.27-28). Compositionally the piece plays on Beckett’s linguistic games, using very minimal  material in a variety of permutations and combinations to provide a sense of  overarching structure and musical drama. The title, taken from the text, is a  reference to the task of attempting to achieve nothingness, as well as a casual turn  of phrase. The work as a whole is a commentary on what the New Yorker, in its  1984 review of the work, called “Beckett's wrestle with the void to the point where  less would be nothing.”

Tarik O’Regan
February 2009
Published on: 01 January 2011
No of pages: 64
Length: 12
Language: English
Catalogue No: NOV958551

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