for seven musiciansclarinet, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, vibraphone, violin, double bass (2011)
|Commission||The Academy (ACJW) — a program of Carnegie Hall, the Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education. Recovering was also funded in part by the Composer Assistance Program of New Music USA.|
|Premiere||February 10, 2012; Helen Filene Ladd Concert Hall, Zankel Music Center, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY; Ensemble ACJW|
Recovering is about gradually coming back to how things were, and in the process becoming something new. When wounds heal, new skin grows back in its place.
In my movement of "Histories," I selected a brief moment from L’Histoire du Soldat’s “Pastorale” and froze it. This gesture is first played by a sustained vibraphone, coated in delicate a haze of breath sounds arranged to surround the audience—as in recovery, breathing is the most basic element. Stravinsky's gesture gradually thaws and gains direction, joined by evolving sounds in the strings. In time, tiny alterations to the gesture—a displaced octave, a new pitch, different harmonies, and finally a regular pulse—recontextualize it completely from its origins in L'Histoire. Only at this point does the music reach a state of repose and stability, if only temporarily.
Recovering is dedicated to my teacher and friend Nils Vigeland, who first introduced me to the wonders of Stravinsky, particularly L'Histoire.