Notes on Steve Ingle’s “Quiet, Please!” for flute, clarinet, bassoon, and sampler:

Quiet, Please was a radio fantasy and horror drama created by Wyllis Cooper and featuring narration by Ernest Chappell. It aired between June 8th, 1947, and June 20th, 1949, and is considered unique in its genre for its creativity and depth, providing the listener a nearly immersive surrealist experience.

This work, by contrast, was directly inspired by the presence of a four-year-old. Distraction is its central theme. With many usable ideas bouncing around inside my head, I sought to create a rather lengthy work, immersive in the same way as the original radio drama. However, a deluge of ideas can be as poisonous to the creative process as no ideas at all. What I had not anticipated was the fact that Ernest Chappell’s deadpan delivery would become my own voice of reason, the voice I heard to quiet my own mind, and what I ended up with was, rather, a brief mockery of the creative process itself. Ideas are, therefore, intentionally underdeveloped and largely unrelated, with only the original motive repeated to provide a fleeting sense of formal cohesion.

For more information on the original radio drama (including information on its current copyright status), I refer you to The episodes are great with headphones on the proverbial dark and stormy night.

The audio samples you will hear on this program come from the episode “Northern Lights.”

 – Steve Ingle

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