for solo violin(2014)
|Premiere||April 26th, 2014; Spectrum, NYC; Mari Kimura, violin|
I was in bad need of a new vacuum cleaner, which I could not immediately afford. So I posted on Facebook, offering to write anyone a 3-minute encore in exchange for a new vacuum cleaner. A crazy idea, I realize. But I'm a clean-freak and will go to great lengths in pursuit of a clean house. To my amazement, I got quite a few responses, but the best one was from Mari Kimura, who knew exactly the brand and model I would like. She recommended a Miele, which is a fantastic line of German- made appliances. But the best part was that Mari, this extraordinary violinist and composer, was so willing to go along with the crazy premise I'd suggested for the commission of a short piece. For me it was a perfect combination. I got to write a piece for a performer I've long admired AND the prospect of a truly clean house was mere days away. The piece I wrote for Mari reflects the exuberance of my feelings towards this project. Its form is simple, almost refrain-like, and features a folk-like melody, which alternates with arpeggiated overtone harmonies. The piece explores just a few tonal areas, with the violin's low G-string representing the main tonic. I suggested to Mari who is much more accomplished than I am with technology that she might try a kind of resonator patch to add some overtones to the low G. I envision the piece as being able to exist either as a purely acoustic work, or one with an electronic element to increase its resonance. Aptly, I titled the piece Miele feeling that it was only right. And the word reminded me of the French word for honey, which suggested the sweetness of this project.
– Hannah Lash