sopranino recorder, flute, trumpet, soprano, piano
In 1996-97, I was inspired to write the original version of this work for electric guitar and violin to perform in recitals along with a violin friend. The composition is influenced by the work of Louis Andriessen as well as a favorite recording of mine which had folk songs by Charles Ives which were orchestrated and conducted by John Adams and sung by Dawn Upshaw. I consider Vim-Hocket, Calm to be the first (and oldest) piece in my performable catalog. The ensemble version of the work was rewritten and expanded for Amsterdam-based Hexnut and was commissioned by the Walden School for premiere in July, 2010. It was great fun to visit these older notes and modify, reexamine, edit, and orchestrate the music in an entirely new light.
The first section of the first movement, “Vim” uses a series of harmonies that are articulated in chordal fashion, and are subsequently arpeggiated in quick bursts. The arpeggios are offset between the two instruments so that it creates an echo effect. Later these echoes get a little further apart as the series of harmonies gets elongated with more chords. A hocket begins using motives from the antecedent music. The quick back and forth antagonists are interrupted with slow, soothing music which hints at what is to come in “CALM”. The instruments then burst with the arpeggio figure in extreme ranges leading to aggressive alternating chords in the last measures of the section. In Calm, a folk-like melody is orchestrated throughout the instruments using high registers in the piano and winds, which highlights the melancholy nature of the musical gestures. The work ends with a slow, unresolved cadence.