Mindreaders was written in 2010 in response to a request for a new composition by flutist Sophia Tegart and clarinetist Gabrielle Baffoni. The piece is a series of seven variations on the chant “Alleuia Pascha Nostrum.” The work explores a nebulous nexus between phenomenological mindreading, semiotics, musical representation, and non-attributable, hidden processes; the first three of which can be considered non-verbal forms of communication. Phenomenological mindreading refers to the ability of humans to attribute mental states to others based on their interpretations of others’ facial expressions and gestures. Semiotics is the study of signs and signification. Many people consider music a language that communicates something—to foster the possibility of representationalism in music this work is based on a pre-existent work that had its own sociological functions and has its own connotations.
In this work each of the seven sections explores facets of a particular emotional sta